TikTok has updated their policy on branded content this week, and the social media giant is putting a halt to crypto influencers. The policy could have implications for creators whose content relies on the crypto and broader financial landscapes.
The Policy Change
While the policy change does have some exemptions, the newly prohibited bucket of content is “Financial Services and Products”. This category includes, but certainly isn’t limited to, topics including crypto, loans and credit cards, trading platforms, forex trading, commemorative coins, investment services, and more.
However, TikTok’s advertising policy remains the same, which currently allows financial services companies to advertise to people over the age of 18. Despite this, ads for cryptos and digital assets specifically are already prohibited on the platform.
However, despite any real means of regulation, TikTok has become a rising tool for financial information for young consumers. The financial corner of the platform, dubbed ‘FinTok’ or ‘StockTok’, is a massive blend of speculation, over-exaggeration, and actual financial insights or perspectives.
As an extension of this, TikTok has faced increased scrutiny lately for allowing unregulated financial advice throughout the platform.
A Sign Of The Times?
Crypto “shilling” is certainly not a rarity on social media channels these days, and TikTok is no exception. One recent example is the ‘Save The Kids’ token, shilled by notable influencers on FaZe Clan. Speculation is abound over whether popular influencers who were pushing the token will face legal ramifications.
When it comes to TikTok, the audience is typically much younger as well, with the platform catering to a primarily Gen Z and young Millennial audience. This only furthers scrutiny for the firm.
Of course, crypto demographics are generally seen as being comprised of a younger audience, making TikTok a viable medium for crypto content creation and consumption. In a statement to media outlet FT Adviser, client education head at Informed Choice Martin Bamford stated that he saw the policy change as “clamping down on directly or indirectly sponsored content which leads to an affiliate link, for example to sign up to a trading platform and get free stocks.”
Accordingly, the implications of TikTok’s most recent policy change could likely impact more than just bad actors in crypto. Legitimate financial firms will likely be impacted and will no longer be able to leverage influencers via TikTok in the same ways that they currently do.