Dec 15, 2022

What are granfluencers and why are they so popular?

Nat Miller

One of the most exciting trends in modern senior living is all the ways in which senior living operators and their residents have adopted amazing new products and technological solutions. From modern payment platforms like Sunbound to innovative health and wellness products, the senior living industry has never been more tech-savvy and forward looking. This follows a more general trend of older adults becoming more engaged with, and excited by, all sorts of new technological products. And one area where older adults are becoming more and more engaged is social media. So it’s no surprise that ‘granfluencers,’ those over the age of 50 with large follower counts, have been taking social media by storm. As their influence continues to grow, it's clear that the granfluencer movement is here to stay. See what makes granfluencers so special and why they're becoming so popular.

What is a granfluencer?

A granfluencer is a new term for an influencer who is over 50 years old. While every granfluencer is unique and showcases their own stories and content, many granfluencers share their unique experiences, lifestyle tips and strategies on how to live a full and rewarding life as they age. They are experts in many areas such as health, wellness, fashion, beauty, travel, nutrition and more.

Following granfluencers is a great way to discover new things like activities and recipes that are perfect for older adults.

As a result, they are becoming influential voices in their communities, offering valuable advice and inspiring others with their stories, not just to other older adults. Through the use of their platforms, they are showing us that age is just a number and that it’s never too late to follow your dreams and get out and explore all through your retirement years.

How did the granfluencer phenomenon start?

Granfluencers have become popular due to their audiences of many different age groups, particularly younger people who are looking for wisdom from more experienced generations. The origins of the granfluencer movement can be traced back to 2014 when 83-year-old Helen Ruth Elam made her instagram account, @baddiewinkle. The account quickly gained popularity as users admired the charming photos of a grandmother and her granddaughter. After some time, people engaged with her vibrant content and she hit one million followers in 2015. These days, her account has reached just over 3.2 million followers, many of which still engage with her posts. Since the debut of @baddiewinkle, the concept of the granfluencers has grown exponentially and now includes a variety of older influencers who share their stories and advice.

Why are granfluencers so popular?

The popularity of granfluencers can be attributed to their authenticity and relatability. Older audiences appreciate their frankness and lack of pretense, while younger audiences admire their wisdom and life experience. Granfluencers also provide an alternative viewpoint that appeals to people from all ages and walks of life.

Granfluencers can help introduce you to things you might never have tried before, like yoga or meditation classes!

Social media as a genre has long been dominated by content created by younger adults, and many people love the new perspective that granfluencers bring to the space.

What kind of brands do granfluencers work with?

As you might expect, many of the brands that partner with granfluencers are those catering to an older demographic, such as senior living communities, health and wellness products particularly those that have to do with aging, home decor, and apparel, often with a focus on mobility or accessibility. But other brands that appeal to a wider demographic are also teaming up with granfluencers, including beauty and fashion brands, restaurants, and even technology companies. For example, HP recently teamed up with granfluencers to promote its new line of laptop computers. The campaign featured granfluencers from all over the world sharing their stories about how technology had improved their lives and why they chose HP for their computing needs. Overall, the granfluencer trend is here to stay. As more brands recognize the potential of working with this demographic, we will continue to see granfluencers featuring in campaigns around the world.

Who are some popular granfluencers today?

Want to learn more about granfluencers? Check out some of the most popular granfluencers going today:

Charlotte Simpson (@travelingblackwidow): Charlotte Simpson is a growing travel icon. With over 22,000 followers on Instagram, Charlotte posts about her travels around the world. In total, Charlotte has visited seven continents and 50 states! Charlotte got into traveling after her husband passed, and she and her daughter decided to spend their first Christmas without him traveling. That next summer Charlotte began doing solo trips, and her granfluencer career shortly followed. 

Johnny Jet (@johnnyjet): Johnny Jet is a travel expert and the editor-in-chief of He is also an up-and-coming granfluencer, with just under 30,000 followers on Instagram. He often shares pictures of his travels, as well as tips and advice for other travelers. Check out Johnny’s website for tons of great travel information and resources. 

Eva Wikner (@Eva_Wikner): Eva Wikner is a fashion, art, and lifestyle influencer who posts a wide variety of content. Eva’s feed includes selfies, lifestyle tips, cooking videos, and more. With just over 13,000 followers, Eva uses her influence to fight ageism and inspire mature women to take a place and be more seen on social media.

Harald Shindel (@Harschin): This suave granfluencer is both an actor and a model. With over 30,000 followers, his fans enjoy his photos and videos in which he’s posing in some new clothes or giving updates on his daily adventures. Harald began his modeling career when he was discovered on Instagram, and has been one of the most popular and up and coming granfluencers ever since. 

Baddie Winkle (@baddiewinkle): At 91 years old, Baddie Winkle has amassed over 3 million followers on Instagram. She is known for her bold fashion choices and her adventurous spirit, often posting pictures of herself participating in activities like skydiving and traveling the world. Baddie's fashion choices often challenge traditional notions of age and style, and she has been featured in numerous publications for her bold and fearless approach to fashion. 

Bruce Bozzi (@brucebozzi): Bruce Bozzi is a restaurateur and the executive vice president of The Palm restaurant chain. He is also a popular granfluencer, with almost 100,000 followers on Instagram. His posts often feature his granddaughter, as well as behind-the-scenes looks at the restaurant industry and his travels. In addition to sharing his experiences and insights with his followers, Bruce also uses his platform to raise awareness for various causes, including support for small businesses and the LGBTQ+ community. 

Ron Perlman (@perlmutations): Ron Perlman is a well-known actor, with roles in films like "Hellboy" and "Sons of Anarchy." He is also a granfluencer, with almost 200,000 followers on Instagram. His posts often feature his family, as well as his thoughts on current events and social issues. In addition to sharing his personal life and experiences with his followers, Ron also uses his platform to speak out on important issues and raise awareness for causes he cares about. 

Iris Apfel (@iris.apfel): Iris Apfel is a fashion icon and interior designer, known for her bold and eclectic style. She has over 2 million followers on Instagram, where she shares pictures of her daily outfits, as well as her thoughts on fashion and design. In addition to her fashion and design work, Iris is also known for her philanthropy and support of various charitable organizations. 

Irvin Randle (@irvinrandle): Irvin Randle, ex-school teacher, has amassed a large following on Instagram with just over 700,000 followers. Known as “Mr. Steal Your Grandma,” Irvin is most known for his dapper posts and constant suave that his fans can’t resist. 

These granfluencers are proving that age is just a number when it comes to building a successful presence on social media. Their unique perspectives, experiences, and passions have resonated with audiences of all ages, making them some of the most popular granfluencers on the platform

If you want to learn more about how Sunbound can help make senior living more affordable for you or your loved one, send us an email at or request a demo of our payment software to learn more. Sunbound is the best way to pay for senior living and is on a mission to make senior living affordable for everyone. 

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