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TikTok Spending by Gen Z Women Increasing as the App ‘Drives Consumption,’ According to an Analyst

Gen Z women, particularly those in their 20s, are significantly influencing spending trends on TikTok, exposing them to potential financial risks. The short-form video app has become a Gen Z women-centric platform, setting trends and shaping narratives. The increased time spent on TikTok creates stronger connections to influencers who often showcase their purchases in “haul” videos, leading to potential misinterpretation of influencers’ spending abilities. While influencers are typically within the same age group as their audience, their income sources, including brand deals and free products, can differ significantly.

TikTok’s impact on consumption patterns is evident in the popular hashtag #TikTokmademebuyit, accumulating over eight billion views. Gen Z women, constituting 75% of TikTok users, are more engaged on the platform compared to their male counterparts, with 62% usage.

Social media, particularly TikTok, serves as a modern version of “keeping up with the Joneses” for Gen Z, fueling FOMO (fear of missing out) despite economic pressures. Gen Zers’ nonmortgage debt increased by 99.3% between March 2021 and the first quarter of 2023, with average balances for personal loans and credit cards rising.

Financial experts advise young women in their 20s to be cautious about the misleading signs of wealth displayed on social media. Exhibiting wealth through possessions may not reflect actual financial well-being, and influencers may not be spending their own money on the promoted items. Additionally, it’s essential for women to focus on long-term financial plans, considering the wage gap and potential challenges. Building a financial foundation in one’s 20s can pave the way for more significant financial goals in the future, such as investing in retirement accounts and building emergency savings.

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