There’s a dangerous trend on social media at the moment, particularly during summer: sun tanning. While the hashtag #sunburnchallenge picks up speed on TikTok, there remains a widespread promotion of unhealthy sunbaking messages on Instagram.
HypeAuditor has been monitoring the increase of tanning posts appearing across Australian influencer’s accounts. And the results are in: over the past six months, 413 influencers have amassed 1287 posts promoting tanning. Twenty six percent of these posts are sponsored, showing that the onus doesn’t lie solely on the influencer, but it is shared with brands who are paying them to sell the dangerous products.
CEO and co-founder of HypeAuditor, Alex Frovlov, spoke about the disturbing trend online.
“Australia has the world’s highest rate of melanoma. It is clear that sun tanning shouldn’t be taken lightly and measures should be in place to stop influencers, brands as well as social media users from sharing posts that normalise and trivialise this unhealthy trend,” Frovlov says about the spike in posts.
Sun tanning and data
But the scary reality of the increase in sun tanning posts doesn’t stop there. The content sweep done by HypeAuditor shows that these posts also have a higher engagement rate. With a good engagement rate being classed as a post with two to three percent engagement, it’s noteworthy that tanning posts average 2.9 percent.
“An engagement rate of 2.9 percent is a good indication that the social media posts, including the more subliminal ones, are getting traction. Social media users are engaging with posts by either giving them a like or a comment. This is alarming,” remarks Frovlov.
With a clear increase on social media of young influencers boasting tan lines, “healthy glows”, and even products that encourage tans, the blame is to be shared from businesses to those being paid to promote an unhealthy lifestyle.