Grandfluencers: Web-savvy seniors are making it big on social media

"I didn’t like Facebook, but it seemed like Instagram was easier and better," said Debra Rapoport. At 76 years old, Rapoport is living life in Manhattan as a hat designer and fashion icon.

"I have a team of photographers who love to photograph me, so I’m always getting photographs that are up-to-date and people send me things to wear so I have to model them and show them and talk about them," said Rapoport who runs the Instagram page @debrarapoport.

She’s part of a trend of "grandfluencers" – web-savvy seniors racking up a big social media followings. There’s also 63-year-old Carrie Nachmani, a grandmother of four, who started an Instagram food page in 2018 in order to showcase her cooking.

"I think people over 50, 60 can be a little intimidated by the whole tech world and I am on so many levels, but I’ve gotten my little Instagram world that I’m getting very comfortable in," said Nachmani. 

That "little" Instagram world, called @carriestable, now has nearly 50-thousand followers.

"To show people and connect that you can be 63 years old and still working out and eating healthy and being so full of energy and having a voice and something to offer. It’s just a different way of being a grandparent than the other generations," said Nachmani. 

New York Times tech reporter Taylor Lorenz explains one of the reasons she believes these grandfluencers are able to gain such a large following. 

"It’s kind of like an aspirational life if you’re not there yet. So for young people, they love looking at it and imagining that this is how their life is going to be when they are 70 or 80 or even 60," said Lorenz. 

Grandflulencers hope to inspire not only younger generations but also their cohorts, to live life to the fullest.