Over the last few weeks, there have been dozens of viral TikToks of people showing off their bank accounts, exclaiming how their bills are paid and flashing new luxury purchases, all thanks to a website called FeetFinder. “How’d you get money for a Tesla?” a guy asks his girlfriend as he films her in a shiny new car. “FeetFinder,” she replies. “I told you I started selling feet pictures.”
FeetFinder, as its website explains, is “the safest, easiest and most secure website for verified users to view, buy and sell custom feet content.” Apparently, over one million users upload and purchase such content daily. As many FeetFinder TikToks imply, this sounds like a highly lucrative opportunity for the simple act of selling feet photos. And for the near-month that aforementioned TikTik has been posted, most people thought the gig was real — until two days ago, when the video and several others like it received a new comment from their creators: “#ad.”
But why would a company that allows people to sell foot pictures be making ads promoting themselves to sellers rather than potential buyers? As some rightfully suspicious TikTokers have pointed out, FeetFinder’s $5 per month fee for sellers might have something to do with it. “The business model of this site isn’t actually selling pictures, it’s based around paying influencers money to promote it and having a ton of people pay the money to sign up,” @noahwaybabes, an adult content creator, says in a recent video. “You’re being scammed — the customers are you, and anyone else who fell for it.”
As @noahwaybabes further explains, the premise of these viral TikToks, many of which emphasize how you can sell feet pics anonymously, doesn’t make sense, either. Most foot enthusiasts are typically interested in the feet of a specific person — if they wanted random anonymous feet pictures, they could Google them for free.
Moreover, much of the FootFinder content on TikTok is based around this idea that sex work — particularly kinds that can be done without showing one’s face or genitalia, or even interacting much with a client — is inherently easy and high-paying. While there’s no public data on seller earnings from FeetFinder, the average income on OnlyFans, for example, is only $180 per month. And on Reddit, several people have discussed making no money at all on FeetFinder, though others have successfully sold feet pictures on Twitter for around $5 each.
What’s worse is, that for much of the time they’ve been posted, there’s been no disclosure that these FeetFinder videos are advertisements. Many were up for nearly a month without being tagged as such, until two days ago when numerous creators finally put “#ad” in the comments sections of their videos. Per Federal Trade Commision guidelines for social media, posting an advertisement without saying it’s an ad is technically illegal.
Beyond the several TikToks that are secretly ads, there are also videos from people lamenting the lack of success they’ve had on FeetFinder. “I just want someone to show me how to sell my feet pictures,” a woman said in a video back in January. “I paid for the account but feel like I’m not doing something right,” she commented. Another woman made a video two days ago saying she was convinced to join after seeing a TikTok from a couple who “made $25,000” from the site, but she ended up getting scammed out of $200, though she didn’t elaborate on how.
All that said, it’s hypothetically possible to sell foot pictures on FeetFinder and make a profit. After all, it’s a real website where people can purchase feet content from creators, with FeetFinder taking an additional 20 percent cut of sales on top of their seller fee. Part of why FeetFinder says they charge sellers to join is because there’s more demand to sell pictures than to buy them, and that charging sellers allows FeetFinder to ensure these sellers are “serious” about making content.
Given how heavily they’ve been promoting themselves to prospective sellers on TikTok, it seems unlikely that this imbalance in the market has shifted, though. As with multi-level marketing and other shady money-making opportunities, anything that spends more time encouraging people to join as sellers than find customers while also requiring an upfront cost is worth being dubious of. It would be nice if a life of luxury were as easy as uploading a few pictures of your toes on the internet, but unfortunately, many of these TikToks are just trying to get five bucks out of you.