Rise of the OAT (old-age TikToker)! 7% of UK grandparents are now active on the video app

It’s often seen as an app for teenagers, but new research has revealed that TikTok is also gaining in popularity amongst the older generations.

Seven per cent of UK grandparents are now active on TikTok, while 24 per cent say they want to learn how to use the app as a way of bonding with their grandchildren, according to research by TalkTalk.

Many of these old-age TikTokers (OATs) have built huge followings on the platform, including 89-year-old Joe Allington, who has amassed a whopping 5.3 million followers on his page, Grandad Joe.

Grandad Joe: The OAT with 5.3m followers 

Joe Allington, 89, Lichfield, Staffordshire has become a hit on TikTok with 5.3 million followers. 

The grandfather often shares videos with his three grandchildren, Brad 26, Sasha 22 and Brooke, 16, and his top videos include Joe sharing everything he eats in a day, which racked up 1.2 million views. 

Speaking to FEMAIL in 2020, Joe said that he joined the platform because his daughter Wendy thought it could be something fun the two of them could do together. 

He said: ‘My first TikTok was in January of this year and I really had no idea what it was all about! 

‘It soon became apparent that I was quite popular as my followers grew very quickly, we were amazed and had no idea this would happen. 

‘We have so much fun making our TikToks, it has now become part of our daily routine and has given me a new lease of life.’  

TalkTalk conducted an online survey of 2,007 Brits aged 16-24, about their grandparents.

The results revealed that seven per cent of grandparents are already on TikTok, while almost a quarter (24 per cent) want to learn to use the app.

Thirty-five per cent of grandparents feel that being on social media helps them to relate to younger family members, according to the study.

However, the biggest barriers to emerging platforms such as TikTok were understanding the terminology (33 per cent), posting content (32 per cent), account set up (24 per cent) and accessing the app (15 per cent).

Half of grandparents said they would watch TikTok videos on their TV with family members if available, while 40 per cent said they’d try making their own videos with their grandchildren if it meant they could watch it together on the TV.   

The TikTok app is now available on a range of TVs, including Samsung, LG and Google Smart TVs, as well as TalkTalk’s new 4K TV box. 

Based on the findings, TalkTalk has partnered with TikToker Yazzy_Music and her 85-year-old grandad and fellow TikToker, John Tucker, who have given their top tips for OATs.

‘Creating content with my grandad has brought us so much closer together, it’s our favourite thing to do,’ Ms Chamberlain said.

‘My grandad doesn’t have a smartphone but loves it when I show him all the lovely messages we receive.’

Based on the findings, TalkTalk has partnered with TikToker Yazzy_Music and her 85-year-old grandad and fellow TikToker, John Tucker, who have given their top tips for OATs

Steve Austin, 82, has 1.7 million followers on his channel 'Old Man Steve'. Mr Austin, pictured, has no grandchildren of his own but receives messages from young fans 'asking him to be their grandpa'

Steve Austin, 82, has 1.7 million followers on his channel ‘Old Man Steve’. Mr Austin, pictured, has no grandchildren of his own but receives messages from young fans ‘asking him to be their grandpa’

Ms Chamberlain recommends checking what’s trending, listening to your audience, and connecting with them where you can.

‘The better the connection you have with your followers, the better your experience will be,’ she said.

‘We love reading all the lovely comments from people, it’s one of my favourite parts of posting content with grandad, they all love him.’

While TikTok’s most well-known names tend to be younger users such as Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae, many older users have amassed huge followings too.

Grandad Joe joined the platform in 2020 because his daughter Wendy thought it could be something fun the two of them could do together

Grandad Joe joined the platform in 2020 because his daughter Wendy thought it could be something fun the two of them could do together

Steve Austin, 82, has 1.7 million followers on his channel ‘Old Man Steve’, while Jenny Krupa, 88, has an impressive 2 million followers on her channel ‘its_j_dog.’ 

Grandad Joe joined the platform in 2020 because his daughter Wendy thought it could be something fun the two of them could do together. 

Speaking to FEMAIL in 2020, Joe said: ‘My first TikTok was in January of this year and I really had no idea what it was all about! 

‘It soon became apparent that I was quite popular as my followers grew very quickly, we were amazed and had no idea this would happen. 

‘We have so much fun making our TikToks, it has now become part of our daily routine and has given me a new lease of life.’  

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a Chinese social media app where users can live stream, create short videos and music videos and Gifs with a host of functions.

TikTok’s tagline is ‘Make every second count’.

It was the most downloaded app in the US in 2018 and the world’s fourth most downloaded app in 2018, ahead of Instagram and Snapchat.

In 2019, it became the second-most downloaded app globally behind Whatsapp.

TikTok is known in China as Douyin where it was launched in 2016 and then made more widely available around the world in 2017.

Douyin is still the version of the app used in China, available to download separately to TikTok. 

The app is most popular among children and young people who use it to film themselves dancing and lip-syncing to chart hits.

It offers users a raft of colourful modification and editing tools including overlaying music, sound, animated stickers, filters and augmented reality (AR) for creating short videos.

The Beijing-based social network has more than 500 million active users and the company is worth more than $75 billion (£58 billion).

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.