Grandparents turn to TikTok to bond with grandchildren

Almost a quarter (24%) of grandparents want to learn how to use TikTok as a way of bonding with their grandchildren, according to new research from connectivity provider TalkTalk.

The video social media app has exploded in popularity in recent years and now boasts close to nine million active users in the UK.

The majority of those are aged 16-24, with 46 per cent of Gen Z citing the short-form video platform as their favourite social media app. This has sparked the interest of grandparents, who are keen to adopt new technology and become more social media savvy.

Currently, only seven per cent of UK grandparents are ‘OAT’s’ (old-age TikToker) and active on the platform, even though 35 per cent feel that being on social media helps them relate to younger family members.

The app allows you to make short and snappy videos on your phone, often to music, which is then shared publicly.

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

One way to give grandparents greater access is through their TV. Half of grandparents said they would watch TikTok videos on their TV with family members if available, while 40 per cent would even consider trying their hand at content creation with their grandchildren if it meant they could watch it together on the big screen. 

TalkTalk’s research also shows that there’s a real appetite for more ‘wholesome’ content online. 70 per cent of Gen Z said that content featuring their grandparents receives higher levels of engagement compared with their usual posts, and over half (54 per cent) enjoy watching social media content featuring grandmas and grandpas.

Luckily, help from the experts is at hand so grandparents can start creating content straight away. TalkTalk has partnered with TikTok sensations Yazzy Chamberlain (@Yazzy_Music) and her 85 year old grandad and expert OAT, John Tucker, to give grandparents tips on how to make the most of the app with their grandchildren.

The duo went viral in February after videos of them singing together racked up more than 4.4 million views on Yazzy’s TikTok account.


Learnt this today♥️ #musicofthenight #grandad #singing #musical

♬ original sound – yazzy_music

Yazzy Chamberlain, singer and TikTok sensation, said: “Creating content with my grandad has brought us so much closer together, it’s our favourite thing to do. My grandad doesn’t have a smart-phone but loves it when I show him all the lovely messages we receive. TalkTalk’s new 4K TV Box will help so many grandparents watch content online with their grandchildren.”

 Yazzy Chamberlain and John Tucker’s advice for grandparents looking to try their hand at TikTok:

  1. Enjoy watching videos together and see what’s trending: Start by watching a range of different videos – whether that’s dances, songs, or cooking – to see what passions you both have in common. It’s also good to look at what’s trending as that means you can recreate those viral videos and put your own spin in it. In our case, it was singing!
  2. Be yourself: Make your videos natural. Grandad and I capture ourselves having fun and creating music, just how we are when we’re at home. If you, or your grandparent, feels stressed to make content, just relax, your followers want to see you be yourself.
  3. Listen to your audience: We get lots of song requests from our followers. We love to listen to their suggestions, and it gives us loads of ideas for songs to learn and upload.
  4. Connect with your audience: The better the connection you have with your followers, the better your experience will be. 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.
  5. Use your TV: Many grandparents, including my grandad, don’t have smart phones which means they don’t have access to TikTok. TalkTalk’s new 4K TV Box now has the TikTok app built into their platform so you can watch content on your big screen.

Follow my instagram @yazzy_music ♥️ #moonriver #grandad #singing

♬ original sound – yazzy_music

Lindsey China, Head of TV Partnerships at TalkTalk, said: “Over the past two years, we’ve seen internet usage among over 65s increase by 69 per cent, demonstrating the appetite for a more digital lifestyle.

We hope that the launch of our new 4K TV Box will support new and existing customers, young and old, access the internet and stay connected with their family and friends. By following Yazzy and John’s top tips, we hope our customers can enjoy watching, or creating, all the best content together.”

Check out why our reporter Bernard Leach also likes the app.


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