A generation thrust through multiple evolutions in technology, baby boomers are gravitating towards apps that benefit their day-to-day lives with entertainment, information, and socialization.

In China, grandparents and elders over 50 are going viral for reinventing what growing old looks like. Some of these baby boomers are turning to Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, to post their own funny clips, music videos, and moments from their daily lives. The New York Times highlighted one trio of grannies who call themselves Sister Wang Is Coming: a group that creates and posts food-focused music videos for their half a million followers. Another group of women in their 50s and 60s, called Glamma Beijing, model vintage and modern clothing on their platform while they give out advice about everything from fashion to life and love. Both groups are challenging stereotypes that elderly generations face and encouraging followers to embrace the social connection and creativity that an online presence can bring to an, at times, lonely age group.

A large percentage of older generations are also finding community on social and gaming apps. Wunderman Thompson Intelligence conducted surveys on gen Z, millennials, gen X, and baby boomers in 2021 for our Into the Metaverse report, and found that 57% of gen X and 33% of baby boomers reported exploring or entering Fortnite’s virtual world compared to 60% of gen Z and 57% of millennials. 59% and 67% percent of gen X and boomers, respectively, reported entering the Animal Crossing: New Horizons world—more than their gen Z (62%) and millennial (64%) counterparts.

An older woman with white, short hair wearing sunglasses smiles and poses facing the sun.
Herbar

Brands are turning to boomer influencers to reach more of their generation online. Herbar, a beauty brand based in Berlin, launched a campaign in August featuring one of the founder’s grandmothers and her friend as models. The line is advertised for all ages and all skin types, part of Herbar’s ode to age-inclusive beauty.

Nowadays, teens aren’t the only users glued to their screens. A November feature by The Washington Post highlighted ways for children of the gen X and boomer generations to keep their parents from overusing their phones around grandkids, at dinner, and during family visits. Angela, who is 37, told the Post that her mother “has become very attached to her phone over the last five years. Whenever we’re together, she’s often on her phone, usually scrolling through social media.” In 2019, a Pew Research Study showed that two thirds of boomers have a smart phone, and 6 out of 10 are on some form of social media.

Online users from the baby boomer and generation X age groups are active online and on mobile platforms, so brands should be careful to include rather than neglect these older generations in their digital engagement strategy.

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