And the latest TikTok trend is... personal finance

On TikTok, the ‘personalfinance’ hashtag counts over 3.7 billion views. — AFP

Dances and lip-syncs aren’t the only trends on TikTok these days. Now, the Chinese social network is attracting a new breed of influencers offering advice on how best to invest money and boost your personal finances. And their videos are going viral, often drawing millions of views, much to the delight of the influencers – and their bank balances.

Under the hashtags “Fintok”, “Moneytok”, “financetok” or “howtoinvest” and “personalfinance”, there are now millions of videos, some of which count their views in the billions. And as Bitcoin continues to grow in value, the dream of winning big with minimal effort, thanks to shrewd financial investments, has become a real trend on TikTok – a trend that hasn't escaped certain influencers on the platform, who are cashing in on its popularity.

On the social network, videos about investing in cryptocurrencies, how to buy stocks or understand the financial markets are buzzing big time. With over 227,500 TikTok followers, the influencer Antonette Aquino – aka “moneyhealthcheck” – has gained over 1.6 million “Likes”, with videos explaining different kinds of investments. The videos have hundreds of thousands of views, sometimes a million or more.

Antonette Aquino isn’t the only one making a name in this niche. The influencer Humphrey Yang has over 1.6 million followers on his humphreytalks TikTok account, and his videos have scored over 22.7 million “Likes”. His success notably stems from his funny, explanatory videos, in which he films himself from two different angles – one for user questions and the other presenting professional advice.

It’s a good technique to help users identify with the content quickly, while capturing their attention in a short amount of time. Videos like this are particularly popular among influencers working in this niche, as they help ramp up views, which is music to the ears of their creators.

However, users should beware not to always take this kind of advice at face value. Some content creators promise the earth with their precious advice, which will supposedly earn money quickly and easily. And in these difficult times, those kinds of promises are the stuff of dreams for the Internet users who watch these videos and follow these accounts. That, in turn, is a godsend for creators, who notch up followers and views, allowing them to make money via the TikTok Creator Fund.

In fact, the Chinese platform allows creators to make money from their videos, provided they fulfil certain criteria. To make money, the TikToker must be resident in France, the UK, Germany, Italy or Spain, be over 18 years old, and have at least 10,000 followers.

Videos need to have over 10,000 views in the last 30 days, and they must respect community guidelines. Certain users profit from this niche to attract inexperienced web users by touting incredible profits and financial returns to help build their community.

On YouTube, the influencer Jeff Rose has notably denounced this dodgy advice on his Wealth Hacker channel: “Options trading [...] we can make it sound so simple in a 37-second TikTok episode. But the reality is that options trading is complex. You can lose everything and then some in an instant. [...] Sure, you can make money, but I promise you it’s not as simple as this video shares, otherwise we’d all be raking in the dough.” – AFP Relaxnews

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