Social media is no stranger to young, attractive influencers with millions of followers. However, many platforms are now home to older influencers experiencing just as much fame, if not more, than their younger counterparts. These “grandfluencers” are taking social media platforms by storm, with many of them publishing books and landing lucrative brand partnerships. Keep reading to learn more about the rise of the senior social media influencer and some of today’s top internet stars.
What Is a Granfluencer?
While there’s no official criteria for what makes someone a grandfluencer, today’s most popular senior social media stars share a few things in common. Many of them are in their 80s and 90s and challenge traditional norms and views on what it means to age in society. People are drawn to their quirky personal style, outrageous sense of humor, or their success in a specific niche.
Top brands are looking for a way to diversify and intrigue their audiences. Including older influencers in their advertising campaigns is often a break from the norm.Now that we’ve covered why grandfluencers are having a moment, let’s take a look at some of the most popular senior citizens on social media.
Top Granfluencers of 2023
74 year old Barbara “Babs” Costello runs highly successful TikTok and Instagram accounts (@brunchwithbabs) along with her daughter. While Costello was cooped up during the pandemic, her daughter encouraged her to post a video while making a recipe and things took off from there. She now has over three million followers on TikTok as well as over two million on Instagram. She’s also partnered with brands like Pillsbury and United Healthcare.
In 2022, Costello published her first cookbook, Celebrate with Babs: Holiday Recipes & Family Traditions.
Yugoslavian-born Lili Hayes moved to Israel when she was young, then later moved to the United States. The 74 year old is known for her fiery sense of humor and for making her son laugh on her social media accounts. Hayes currently has almost six million followers on TikTok and over 833,000 followers on Instagram. She’s also an avid pop culture artist and held an art show last year in Los Angeles.
101 year old Iris Apfel is one of the internet’s most infamous style icons. Based in New York City, Apfel is also a successful businesswoman and interior designer. At the age of 97, she was officially signed as a fashion model with the famous agency IMG. Her signature personal style is proudly displayed on her official Instagram account, which boasts 2.6 million followers. You can also find Apfel strutting her stuff on TikTok in an iconic pair of oversized glasses and colorful outfits.
@grandadjoe1933 Apparently walking sorts everything 🙄 #walkingformentalhealth #mentalhealthmatters ♬ оригинальный звук – _malifisenta007_
TikTok sensation Joe Allington is better known on the platform as Grandad Joe (@grandadjoe1933). The 89 year old UK native delights over 6 million followers on TikTok with family-friendly humorous content. He also has a popular instagram account with over 400,000 followers. His most popular videos are known to receive well over a million likes. One of Joe’s recent viral videos received quite a bit of media attention. The video documents Joe’s experience of being stood up by a date, which prompted much support from his followers.
Helen Ruth Elam
With over three million followers on Instagram, Helen Ruth Elam, better known as Baddie Winkle, pushes the boundaries of what it means to age. The 94 year old Kentucky native is known for her unique personal style, being a fan of marijuana legalization, and going against traditional beauty standards. Elam is also known for promoting sex and body positivity and features the quote “stealing your mans since 1928” in her Instagram bio.
Elam has been featured on popular shows like MTV’s Ridiculousness. She’s also partnered with top brands like Smirnoff, Missguided, and Sally Beauty.
Known on Instagram as The Traveling Black Widow, Charlotte Simpson has traveled to all seven continents and visited all 50 states. After her husband passed away, Simpson became inspired by solo travelers and booked her first solo trip. She loved it so much that she continued to venture to new places, sharing it all with her Instagram family. Simpson also takes on brand partnerships and experienced great success working with the company Aura Frames.
56 year old Lance Walsh gained fast internet fame for his streetwear style. Walsh is a London-based fruit vendor on Berwick street and sells his products dressed in head to toe Supreme clothing. Photographers and style aficionados alike were drawn to Walsh’s unique look and today, he has almost 50,000 followers on Instagram.
Lance was recently featured in a Vogue Magazine article where the publication documents his rise to internet celebrity status.
@grandma_droniak Replying to @kennedybriastar now you know how to avoid your ex #datingadvice #exboyfriend #grandma ♬ original sound – grandma_droniak
Social media comedian and self-proclaimed celebrity grandma Lilian Droniak lights up the world with her funny viral clips and videos. The 93 year old gives humorous dating advice, posts “get ready with me” videos, and frequently pokes fun at death and aging. Droniak currently has 8.7 million followers on TikTok and 973,000 over on Instagram.
Senior gamer Shirley Curry is also known as Skyrim Grandma. The 87 year old started her YouTube channel back in 2011 and today, she has over one million subscribers. Curry first began gaming in the late 90s after her son introduced her to the popular video game Civilization II. In 2015, she uploaded her very first gaming video and the rest is history. Curry was also promised to be featured as a character in the upcoming Bethesda Games release The Elder Scrolls VI.
Unfortunately, Curry recently suffered a stroke and is currently undergoing some much needed rest and rehabilitation. The stroke apparently affected her ability to game and she’s receiving a huge amount of support from her community of fans.