When Christmas and the holiday season came around, TikTok grandmas saw their engagement rise on their videos. Image Credit: Shutterstock

You’ve definitely heard of influencers. But how about ‘grandfluencers’?

Click start to play today’s Spell It, where people like ‘granny’ are taking over social media.

Something interesting happened over the winter break on social media websites, like Instagram and TikTok. While the networks are known to be the bustling hub of Gen Z, they also host a small group of #grandfluencers – grandparents who are bringing their unique personalities and old-school skills to kids who are struggling with adulting.

When Christmas and the holiday season came around, TikTok grandmas saw their engagement rise on their videos, according to a December 2022 report in US-based magazine The Atlantic. Grandma TikTok is like a bubble in the chaotic buzz of the platform – elderly women share authentic family recipes, laundry hacks, nostalgic anecdotes, salty comments, wit and warmth.

During the holiday season, when it was all about family and community, young people were drawn to these wonderful grandmothers, who were plating up delicious food in their videos and looked like they would love to give you a hug if you needed one.

Take hugely popular @brunchwithbabs, for instance, a grandmother of eight, in the US, who posted her first video on TikTok in 2020, after her daughter urged her to join the app. The post was about an easy overnight breakfast casserole that people could make when they had guests over.

Today, Babs, or Barbara Costello, has over 3 million followers, and has published a holiday cookbook. Her TikTok profile says she’s “everyone’s grandmother” – the adoring and playful comments from Gen Z show that’s not far from the truth. Costello is known for her resourceful hacks and tips - she has videos that show you how to properly load your dishwasher and how to remove kitchen odours with ease - along with her baking recipes.

Another account, or Nana’s Kitchen zooms into an 86-year-old Iraqi Turkish woman’s hands as she prepares all sorts of mouth-watering meals. The immigrant grandmother, who's simply known as 'Nana', lives in Canada, and one of her eight grandchildren runs her account, helping her chase her goal of teaching young people to cook traditional recipes. The veteran homecook makes labour-intensive Middle Eastern dishes look easy, and has a following of nearly 740,000 people. In Ramadan, followers even get treated to footage from family iftars.

Grandfluencers, like @brunchwithbabs and Nana’s Kitchen, are bringing something rare to social media. They’re drawing Gen Z away from doomscrolling and meme-speak, to earnest conversations and unexpected moments of personal bonding. In an indifferent social media universe, where everything is harsh and cold, Grandma TikTok is a warm embrace, promising you that you’re not alone.

Is this just what social media needed? What do you think? Play today’s Spell It and tell us at