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How TikTok Is Exposing GenZ Women To Financial Risk: Report

Spending more time on the app drives increased exposure to influencers and ads, driving purchases.
Photo illustration the logo of TikTok | Getty Images | Photo Illustration by Chesnot
Photo illustration the logo of TikTok | Getty Images | Photo Illustration by Chesnot

GenZ women in their 20s are spending more time on the short-form video app TikTok than their male peers, per a CNBC report. This is jeopardizing their financial well-being as TikTok is focusing on ads and promotion while influencers on the platform are focusing on brand collaborations and product promotions.

Photo illustration the logo of TikTok | Getty Images | Photo by Chesnot
Getty Images | Photo by Chesnot

Spending more time on the app drives increased exposure to ads and connection to influencers and online figures who create aspirational content that resonates with their viewers. These influencers often post “haul” videos showcasing products they recently purchased from a specific brand.


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♬ son original - Merveille🫦


Ellyn Briggs, a brands analyst at Morning Consult, said in the report, “TikTok is a Gen Z women-centric app, and it is setting the tone and the narrative for what is ‘hot’ online.” These influencers who are often of the same age group have more purchasing power as they earn a high income from their platforms and brand deals. However, their content negatively impacts the audience who aspire to shop like these influencers without the needed financial backing. TikTok‘s influence on the expenditure of its younger audience is evident with the #TikTokmademebuyit which has over eight billion views, per a Morning Consult report.

Further, a separate report suggested that Gen Z women spend significantly more time on the platform, exposing themselves to such content.

Unlike baby boomers who acquired shopping habits from peers in their neighborhood, Gen Z is more susceptible to being overpowered by fear of missing out despite economic pressures like high living costs.

@cherishandfavor Anyone else spend all their money on tiktok products? No? Oh, me neither 😅 @coilchargingcable #tiktokmademebuyit #musthaves #viralproducts #xyzcbca ♬ original sound - Cherish & Favor


As per a Lending Tree report, nonmortgage debt among Gen Zers rose 99.3% between March 2021 and 2023 while younger consumers’ debt added up to an average of $10,797. This is a concerning trend as mounting debt can put the young under a financial burden. “In a way, social media is the current, younger generation’s version of keeping up with the Joneses,” said certified financial planner Shaun Williams, partner and private wealth advisor of Paragon Capital Management, in the CNBC report.

1. Look out for misleading signs

People who show off their wealth on social media through what they wear and what they own, and not what they saved and invested should be avoided. Owning a lot of products doesn’t mean someone is wealthy as most often influencers on TikTok, Instagram, and other platforms are sponsored by private companies or get free products from companies.

2. Keep long-term plans in mind

Women already have hurdles such as the wage gap in their way to achieving financial stability. Thus, they need to be extra careful with their money to manage their long-term goals efficiently. While social media can be enticing, young women need to remind themselves about their financial reality and spend their money wisely. Investments like a retirement account or emergency savings should be prioritized over impulsive buying.