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TikTok has gone viral with these videos of a foot fetish. Many of them are sponson.

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Some creators claimed that they earned thousands of dollars by posting on FeetFinder. This sparked discussion about unrevealed ads on TikTok.

TikTok has seen videos about FeetFinder, a photo-selling website that allows users to upload photos of their feet.

A few creators have revealed that FeetFinder sponsored the videos they were praising.

“Why did this thing called FeetFinder just make like $70?” Andy, also known as andierhoe, said in a May 24 video. FeetFinder is the best place to show off your cute feet. FeetFinder is the place to be, as you get paid for your feet.

Andy claimed the post had been sponsored five days later, commenting #ad in the video. He did not respond to our request for comment.

The potential dangers that creators may post unrevealed sponsored content on TikTok have been exposed by the influx of FeetFinder videos and the subsequent questions. Creators expressed concern about the misleading portrayal of online sex work in the ads and the possibility that young people would be persuaded not to consider the potential dangers.

Creators are also having a lot of fun discussing the brand deals they accept.

FeetFinder stated that creators were instructed to reveal that videos that promoted the site were ads.

Patrick Nielson, a founder of FeetFinder and CEO, stated in an email that “we suggested the influencers add hashtags like #ador #sponsored” to the caption along with the text *dramatization done by paid actors* so everyone viewing the tik k knew they were ads.” “Anyone who posted a foot finder ad without such disclosures was advised to delete/delete that video as soon as possible.”

However, viral videos of the site are still popular on TikTok. It’s not clear if they were organically generated or sponsored through FeetFinder.

TikTok encourages creators and partners to disclose their partnerships in its branded content policy. However, they did not respond to requests to comment.

Cody Premer, the creator of Andy’s video, interviewed a woman who claimed she had $40,000 in her account due to uploading photos to FeetFinder. The creator, Amy Patrick, posted a video the next day of his girlfriend and him boarding a private plane, driving to an extravagant beach house, and then buying a luxury car. He claimed that his girlfriend had “got dummy wealthy from Feet Finder.” A video of tatyanddavon, also known as Amy Patrick, was posted that same week. It featured them boarding a private jet, driving to an extravagant beachside mansion, and flexing their cash.

Commenters wondered if this was too good to be true. Some laughed about how they would quit school to make a living selling picture of feet. Many asked for advice.

Some said they had signed up recently but couldn’t make sales. At the same time, noahwaybabe, an adult film star, pointed out that FeetFinder charges sellers $4.99 per month to use the platform. He stated, “…the client is you and any other person who falls for it.”

This fee is used to ensure that sellers are serious about selling content.

https://www.tiktok.com/@ayypatrick/video/7101738019874409774

Undisclosed ads fly under the radar.

TikTok has seen 3.8 million times the tag #ffsponsored, which is used in videos to promote FeetFinder. However, that tag does not include hundreds of videos that promote FeetFinder but doesn’t disclose any advertising deals. Premer’s video alone has 15 million views.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), influencers must disclose any “material relationship” with a brand they endorse via social media. This could include a personal relationship, free products, and payment for a shoutout on social media. FTC filed complaints against influencers and companies who failed to disclose sponsorship.

TikTok requires creators to adhere to “local laws and regulations” when posting brand content. Last year, TikTok added a toggle feature that allows creators of branded content to easily communicate whether a post is an advertisement. According to the platform’s policy on branded content, advertisers are prohibited from advertising products or industries other than “sexual products and/or services.”

However, unsolicited sponsored content is still a common topic online, particularly on TikTok. Users complain about influencer gossip forums that unreported brand partnerships have inflated “viral” beauty products. A 2021 Mozilla report revealed that “across all political spectrums, influencers had undisclosed pay relationships with various U.S. political organizations” despite TikTok’s 2019 ban against political advertising.

Sofia Porzio is a lifestyle blogger and photographer known online as Sofia Elizabeth. She is one of the creators calling out viral videos on FeetFinder for sponsored content.

Porzio said that FeetFinder approached her via email to offer sponsored posts on the site. NBC News received a copy of the email and asked Porzio to make something that could go viral and mention the company. In return for posting the emails, the email promised “easy cash.”

FeetFinder sent an email to Ariella Elm, another creator. “The goal would have you create Tik Tok videos that show how people can make money selling their feet pictures on FeetFinder.” Many videos have been viral, with an average of over a million views per video and some videos getting more than 20 million+. We hope to start this ASAP.

@sofiaelizabeths

#stitch with @codypremer feet finder videos on your FYP is not a sign for you to start it – it’s an AD. these influencers telling you to do it are being bought .

♬ original sound – Sofia Elizabeth

Porzio stated, in a TikTok video that Porzio made responding to Premer’s video, “These influencers have been bought.” You should not take the videos you see on your For You Page as a sign to FeetFinder. It’s an advertisement.

Porzio stated that she was offended when she received the email. Her content is often focused on sustainable fashion and advocacy for survivors of sexual assault.

Porzio stated that she had blocked the sender when she received the email for the first time and then moved on. After seeing “20” TikTok videos per week, Porzio felt compelled to speak up about TikTok videos.

Porzio stated that while promoting your website where you sell photos of yourself is fine, she does not trust creators who encourage viewers to do sex work and promise riches. It may sound innocent, but FeetFinder sellers still cater to a fetish, and young people might be persuaded into creating explicit content without protecting their privacy.

Porzio stated that it’s quite another thing to tell young people, impressionable people, to create their own website business. “And, especially, the fact that they aren’t disclosing that it was paid to tell people how to start this is very wrong.”

Porzio stated that she was suspicious of an email from FeetFinder, as it stressed how easy it would be to create sponsored content.

They say they want the video to go viral. Porzio stated that they want the video to look authentic and natural so it can go viral. They keep using the word “easy.” It’s not always easy. Promoting a great deal shouldn’t be difficult, especially if you are promoting something like this.

A false representation of industry reality

Besides being unlisted ads, viral FeetFinder videos often misrepresent the reality behind selling feet pictures according to people who sell them.

YouTube searches yield dozens of videos from people who have pursued the same goal and experienced varying success.

The creator, Debbie Dew Drop, stated that she hadn’t made a sale in six months when she started her business. Although the extra income she receives from selling photos of her feet on Patreon has been an enormous help, it is not enough to guarantee financial stability.

Jocey Potts is another seller who blogs about her experiences on YouTube. She started selling feet photos to see if it was possible as a middle-aged mom. After posting a video on selling on chat sites such as Omegle, FeetFinder asked her for a review of the site. She criticized FeetFinder’s push for sellers to upload “hundreds” of albums. Sellers who don’t pay the monthly fee would lose access to all their uploaded albums. FeetFinder suggests that you offer a few different albums with a wide price range to maximize sales. This is because buyers are more inclined to buy multiple cheaper albums than expensive ones.

Potts stated that the biggest lesson he learned from that site was that you might get more out of what you put in. I have never heard of anyone making a lot of money quickly or without ‘working’ it. It’s possible to make sales if you communicate with people and hassle them. The site may be well-intentioned, but it is not necessarily well-executed.

Potts stated that she wanted an honest view of selling foot content through her YouTube channel, so hopeful sellers could manage their expectations.

Potts stated that “people in the world are making money at this.” It hasn’t been my reality, and it most likely won’t be yours. I didn’t mean to be rude, but it is to help you have realistic expectations. We cannot all be Kim Kardashians in the foot industry.

Nielson is FeetFinder’s CEO and founder.

When they start, sellers may not be able to make a profit because they don’t feel comfortable sharing links to their accounts on social media or because they don’t know which photos/videos work best.

Nielson stated that while most sites offer free registrations, these sites often work only for Sellers with a large social following or highly experienced in the industry. We want to ensure that no matter how many followers you have on social media, there is still a chance to make money. We want people all over the globe to have the opportunity to earn money, no matter how many followers they have or their experience.

How to choose the right brand deal

There has been a lot of discussion about brand deals that influencers accept after the spike in FeetFinder videos.

Angela is a creator and R&B musician with over 1.2 million followers on TikTok. After her followers asked questions about the video, she removed it.

Angela stated in her video, “If you’re a Black content creator now, you know what it takes to get brand deals.” “One thing I know about myself is I value my integrity. I love my followers and would never wish to cause harm to you. So girl, don’t download FeetFinder.”

@anaykashe

Reply to @ayunemi

♬ original sound – Anayka She

Ariella Elm is a creator who makes content about LGBTQ current events, politics, informational videos, and other topics. FeetFinder approached Ariella Elm with a sponsorship opportunity. Although she said that she doesn’t accept brand deals that are not in line with her ethics, she can understand why some people might need the income to support their partnership.

Elm stated that “influencer” is a marketing term. He’s inducing people to purchase certain products. “But it’s really about changing how people view the world and treat others.” I can be a role model, including being open about my company.

She said it was okay to say no to partnerships with brands creators wouldn’t use.

Porzio called out the unnamed FeetFinder ads. She hasn’t yet made sponsored content on TikTok because she hasn’t been approached by a brand that shares her values. Because her audience is younger, she was particularly cautious about brands she associates herself with. She was also alarmed at FeetFinder’s influencer-marketing strategy that “has a demographic in their mind” and works with creators with young audiences.

Porzio stated that even as an adult, she struggles to distinguish between sponsored content and organic endorsements. Porzio worries that her child might see videos promoting FeetFinder and make plans to make “easy money” once they turn 18.

“That’s what’s scary; sometimes it’s more nuanced than ‘Oh, that’s an ad.’ Porzio continued. Porzio continued: “Sometimes there is an in-between, and it can be tough to decide what’s real and what’s not.”

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