More Americans are turning to TikTok for financial advice.They probably shouldn’t


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Filling a Void

There is no national education requirement for financial literacy in the US, leaving many Americans under-informed on topics such as saving, budgeting, and smart spending.

Americans looking to fill this void are turning to the internet to source financial info, but obviously some sources are better than others. In particular, TikTok has become a go-to source for personal finance tips.

Textbook TikTok

A staggering 80% of Americans aged 18 to 41 reported sourcing financial advice from social media. Meanwhile, many financial education content creators on TokTok have racked up millions of views on their videos. These videos can cover anything from finding a beginner credit card to diffusing money-related conflicts.

TikTok may be a popular source for digestible financial information currently, but it’s by no means the first. “Relatable” financial content also gained steam on blogs back in the early 2010s.

Americans tend to turn to each other in search of information. When it comes to personal finance, that’s a great place to start — but it shouldn’t be the end.

One App Doesn’t Fit All

TikTok is a great way to introduce consumers to financial topics they might not have known of. However, many such topics are far too complicated to be explained in a single 60-second video.

And as Abraham Lincoln once said, don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Social media platforms incentivize engaging content (i.e content that receives more comments and shares) over rigorous and accurate reporting, so some information on TikTok may be misleading or outright wrong.

Not all TikTokers are trying to mislead you — but they will have a completely different set of circumstances than you do. What’s best for you probably won’t be the same thing that’s best for strangers with different financial goals, risk tolerances, and lifestyles.

So, while TikTok can be a useful source of financial information, be sure to conduct your own research or even contact a professional before making any major decisions in regards to your finances.

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TikTok is turning these creators into multi-millionaires

TikTok is turning these creators into multi-millionaires

What could be cooler than (nearly) getting banned by the president? That’s where the video-sharing social network TikTok found itself in late 2020. But the ban never happened, and TikTok’s 100 million American users continue to consume bite-sized videos, contributing to a $35 billion annual revenue for TikTok’s owners, ByteDance Ltd.

Still, Bytedance aren’t the only ones who held their breath waiting to see if the ban would occur. The app’s users are also making a buck from TikTok. A generation of young TikTokers has adopted that look of calm authority shared by millionaire influencers across the platforms, their features digitally smoothed, like emojis with visible roots. And RaveReviews has identified 62 of them who made a six-figure-plus income from the app in 2020.

How do TikTokers make their money? In old talk: advertising. In today’s words: influencing. Companies pay TikTok stars up to $0.005 per follower for product placement and sponsored posts. We’ve taken that figure and multiplied it by the number of followers and ads for nearly 100 top TikTokers in 2020. Here is RaveReviews’ guide to TikTok’s highest earners.

Charli D’Amelio / TikTok

The top three TikTok earners rake in more than the next 10 combined. But there is plenty to go around. We found 83 TikTokers earning five figures or more from ads, including 39 on six figures, and 23 who earned $1 million-plus in 2020 alone.


Rod Contreras / TikTok

Kimberly Loaiza / TikTok

Jayden Croes / TikTok

Abby Roberts / TikTok

Lauren Godwin / TikTok

Brent Rivera / TikTok

Bella Poarch / TikTok

Jason Coffee / TikTok

David Dobrik / TikTok

Zach King / TikTok

Gilmher Croes / TikTok

Noah Beck / TikTok

Demi Bagby / TikTok

Spencer Polanco Knight / Spencer X / TikTok

Q Park / TikTok

Loren Gray / TikTok

Dixie D’Amelio / TikTok

Kira Kosarin / TikTok

Avani Gregg / TikTok

Joe Albanese / TikTok

Addison Rae / TikTok

Charli D’Amelio / TikTok

Michael Le / TikTok

Michael Le may be the highest earner, but he’s only the eighth-most followed TikToker in our study. He makes it to the top of the earnings list by virtue of making significantly more sponsored posts than anybody else: 92, next to second-placed Joe Albanese’s 62. Albanese made just shy of $9M from ads in 2020, despite having ‘only’ 28m followers.

Bella Poarch is the million-dollar TikToker who made the fewest ads. The 20-year-old (or is she older?) scored the biggest viral hit of 2020 with her expertly face-choreographed ‘M to the B’ lip-sync. But Poarch restrained herself to just seven sponsored posts, earning around $1,907,500.

TikTok has made a major splash on the social media and influencer landscapes. By extending the popular formula of the 6-second Vine to 15 seconds or more, TikTok caters to today’s goldfish attention spans but leaves more room to share a message – such as an ad. Impressed by the numbers? Get TikTokking!

We researched the 50 most followed TikTok accounts and the most followed for each key TikTok category using online resources like Social Tracker and Influencer Marketing Hub

Next we scraped all the videos each TikToker published in 2020 and extracted the hashtags and mention tags from those videos. We labelled all tags as commercial or non-commercial (for example, #ad is a commercial tag) and calculated the number of ads per TikToker in 2020. 

Following the Guardian’s estimation that TikTok stars could be paid up to $0.005 per follower for sponsored posts, we calculated how much each TikToker could charge for one commercial video and finally calculated total earnings by multiplying cost per post and total number of ads.

The data was collected in January 2021.



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