Rise of the OAT (Old-Age TikToker): Grandparents turn to TikTok to bond with family

  • A quarter of grandparents want to learn how to use TikTok to connect with their family
  • 70% of Gen Z say social content featuring grandparents receives higher levels of engagement than regular content
  • Half of grandparents would watch TikTok if it was available on their TV
  • TalkTalk is the first ISP in Europe to launch the TikTok app on its built in-platform TV box
  • TikTok star Yazzy Chamberlain and her grandad provide advice for grandparents looking to use TikTok with their 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’ and active on the platform, even though 35 per cent feel that being on social media helps them relate to younger family members. 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 newly launched 4K TV Box, powered by Netgem TV, is the perfect solution for grandparents looking to try their hand at TikTok. It is the first ISP in Europe to launch the app on the in-platform TV service, meaning families can enjoy the latest dance crazes, life hacks and trending videos on the big screen together.

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.

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.

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.”

As well as TikTok, the new 4K TV Box offers more choice for TalkTalk TV customers alongside an Ultra High Definition 4K viewing for the greatest at-home entertainment experience at an affordable price. Customers can access more than 70 channels and on-demand players through the Netgem TV interface, the award-winning digital entertainment service provider. Customers can expect more apps and streaming services like Netflix and Prime Video at their fingertips – a faster, simpler way to watch content through one box.

For more information about TalkTalk’s 4K TV Box, visit: