Tell me you watch TikTok without telling me you watch TikTok…
Notable for its meme content and short videos, TikTok has exploded in popularity over the past few years. With more than a billion users as of 2021, it is no wonder that businesses are now looking to this platform for advertising. Riding on this trend, content creators on the platform have also begun churning out investment advice.
The question remains – “Can the investment advice on this social media platform be trusted?”
The bright side of financial TikToks are made up of financial experts who create content discussing the issues of credit card debts, personal finance management, and encouraging young people to start investing.
However, on the other hand, the dark side churns out scams and myths. Coupling this with TikTok’s state-of-the-art recommendation algorithm, such videos ripple through the user base. Millions of young users of this platform will then be shown these phoney videos, misdirecting them as they seek to discover finance for themselves.
An increasing amount of young adults are turning to the platform and reasons cited were as follows:
Similar Age Groups: This allows the users to be more receptive to the creators’ content.
Infinite Scrolling: Users do not have to constantly search for something, they can scroll endlessly and there will always be content to entertain them.
Recommendation Algorithm: As mentioned before, TikTok has an exceptional recommendation algorithm, pushing certain videos to users based on their preferences and likes.
Lack of Financial Advice: Young people nowadays like information to be at the tip of their fingers. However, financial advice proved difficult to find online, while those that can be found are often not free.
Yes, you may argue that YouTube and Instagram have this phenomenon going about as well. The catch here is that TikTok targets mainly young people and boy is it exploding in popularity. Youths nowadays do not have the patience to sit through hours of seminars, which is perfect in this case – TikTok offers them bite-sized information that they can slowly digest whilst capturing their attention.
Financial professionals have questioned the legitimacy of these financial shorts, to prevent droves of young people from making uninformed decisions. The lack of transparency with regards to the identities and qualifications of these creators make these videos a whole lot more shady. While there are definitely certified experts blasting out appropriate advice, it is the dark side that we are worried about – if the youths get into trouble from following the advice, there is no way to track the user who posted it.
It is important to remember that no one gets rich overnight and investing is never easy (hours and hours of research are usually poured in before making an informed decision). In your journey towards personal finance management, I suggest that any information found on TikTok should be cross-referenced to professional articles or advice that can be found online. Only by cross-referencing, can you confirm the credibility of a video.
Stay realistic, stay woke.