You may know 5-Minute Crafts as the account behind some of the most bizarre “life-hack” videos you’ve ever seen, but what you may not know is that they could secretly be a fetish content farm.
Since launching in 2016, 5-Minute Crafts has become an internet phenomenon, gaining millions of followers for its unhinged DIY content that literally no one asked for and no one would ever think to try.
The channel has created more than 5,000 videos that have been viewed more than 19 trillion times. With more than 77 million subscribers, 5-Minute Crafts is now the 13th most-followed channel on YouTube and generates an estimated $11.7 million a year from YouTube ads alone.
On Facebook, the company has more than 100 million followers, making it among the 15 most-followed pages on the social platform, ahead of Rihanna and Justin Bieber. It has another 44 million followers on Instagram and 11 million followers on TikTok at the time of writing.
So how has a business dedicated to DIY life hacks built one of the biggest followings on the internet if the hacks are essentially useless?
Teaching viewers how to do these crafts doesn’t seem to be the point, rather, the videos appear to exist purely to make sure you can’t look away.
Recently, TikTokers have been stitching the account, pointing out that 5-Minute Craft videos actually emulate fetish content.
Creator Lena Rae, who has created several videos on 5-Minute Crafts, has been stitching many of these craft videos to determine whether or not they are actually fetish content. She believes the account exists to “boost engagement and maybe capture more viewers, funnel them to a different site”, like food porn and kink websites.
One of the most popular adult-film content websites, PornHub, even has videos tagged under Five-Minute Crafts, which have become increasingly popular on the site.
When it comes to identifying whether or a video on your FYP is actually fetish content, fetish actress @goddesslydiaxo says the fact that the crafts in these videos don’t usually make sense is usually an indicator.
“There are people who are simply interested in things being done wrong, they legitimately get excited when things are messy and done wrong.”
Creator @summer.side.up also notes that kinks and fetishes are a spectrum, which is why many people don’t see anything overtly sexual about the videos.
Some believe it may be indirect marketing from adult film distributors to covertly slip into the mainstream. Indirect marketing has become big on TikTok, with singers paying creators to use their songs in the background and luxury brands, like Prada, asking influencers to purposely break or damage their products in order to generate views.
Others think that the company that owns 5-Minute Crafts, TheSoulPublishing, is linked to funding the Russian government and Russian content farms.
While the videos may seem harmless, especially for those unaware of their potential purpose, some users are concerned about how easily accessible it, even to children,
“There are grown-ass adults and giant content farms putting out at best sexually suggestive material and fetish content ‘wild’ on the internet, where everyone can see it including kids,” said Lena Rae of 5-Minute Crafts. “I’m sure this is a very nuanced situation, and I don’t know a whole lot about it, but like, I can tell you, I don’t want my kid [landing] on an account that posts some of the type of content that I’ve been sharing.”
Other creators don’t share the same exact sentiment, as the account isn’t necessarily sexually suggestive unless the viewer is aware of what they are allegedly watching.
One thing is for sure, we will never look at a 5-Minute Crafts video the same again.