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Digital financial literacy: uncovering the finfluencer effect

Person using laptop and cell phone

In today’s digital age, a new wave of financial influencers, known as finfluencers, has emerged on social media. Their influence does not stem from sharing fashion tips or selfies, but rather from offering financial insights. They are reshaping social media with their knowledge, one financial tip at a time.  

Given that younger audiences rarely consult traditional media outlets, these audiences are looking for financial advice through other means, such as social media platforms like TikTok, YouTube and Instagram. However, due to the growing number of content creators online, viewers may have difficulty identifying which advice is credible and reliable.

By giving advice, finfluencers have become new actors in the financial sphere, consulted alongside other  influential stakeholders such as policymakers, academics andProfessor Errol Osecki practitioners. They are shaping and informing the decision-making processes of the younger generation and leveraging new means of communicating and disseminating finance-related information.

This is why professors Errol Osecki and Darlene Himick co-applied for and received a Telfer SMRG Research Development Grant for a project titled “Finfluencers' social media content – influences on financial literacy” to investigate the impact that finfluencers have on their viewers and the quality of the content they present on multiple platforms.

Through their evidence-based methodology, professors Osecki and Himick aim to understand the online behaviour of finfluencers by reviewing their highly visible content. They also aim to inform financial literacy policies by highlighting and categorizing how finfluencers impact their viewers’ financial decision-making processes and ultimately, their wellness. The project will also explore how videos disseminated across various platforms can significantly affect the viewers’ mental health, either by inducing anxiety and stress or by encouraging viewers to make financial decisions with more ease and confidence.

About the Author

Haifa s’est jointe à la Direction de la recherche de Telfer en mai 2024, dans le cadre du régime travail-études. Elle est titulaire d’une maîtrise en traduction de l’Université d’État de Kent, en Ohio, et fait son doctorat en traductologie. Elle s’occupe notamment de la rédaction d’articles, de la gestion et de l’analyse de données et d’autres tâches administratives.<br/><br/>Haifa joined the Telfer Research Office in May 2024 through the work-study program. She holds an MA in Translation from Kent State University in Ohio and is working towards a PhD in Translation Studies. Her responsibilities include story writing, data management and analytics, and other administrative tasks.

Profile Photo of Haifa Ben Naji