What is the Hoop app?
HOOP connects with Snapchat, shows you Snap profiles of other users, and allows you connect with them or swipe away to the next Snap profile. Once they’ve exchanged Snap info inside of Hoop, the rest of the conversation happens in Snapchat. There’s no chat in Hoop, and location information isn’t included — though some users put it on their profile image or bio. Teens earn points for logging in daily, sharing their Snap, getting Snap friends to join Hoop, and taking surveys.
Corporate website: https://hoop.photo/
APP Store rating:
What do parents need to know about Hoop?
Here’s a list of items we try to evaluate with each app we review.
Does Hoop have easily accessible inappropriate content?
While the majority of the profiles are appropriate, there are profiles that are not. I came across these inappropriate profiles after about 10 minutes of use (for reference: search preferences were set for any gender, any country, and no filters on age or location; the first picture, my age was set at 13 and for the second and third, my age was set at 30).
Does Hoop have default public settings?
Yes. Currently, there’s no private account option. Anyone can add anyone else to follow. You can block accounts, but you’ll need to monitor who is deciding to follow you.
In order to use the Hoop app, users must include age, gender, a photo, and country. Your Snap Name and country are displayed, but you can choose whether to have your age displayed on your Hoop profile.
Does Hoop share your location?
No, but some users share it in their bio. And although location isn’t shared with others outright, the search preferences can try to show you Snap profiles of people close to you, if you’ve allowed the app to use your location while using the app. Not good at all from a predatory perspective.
Does Hoop have “live” or “ephemeral” content?
No. It doesn’t have any of its own content. The app just shows users Snapchat profiles.
Does Hoop have direct messaging?
Does Hoop have ads and in-app purchases?
No, but teens earn points for logging in daily, sharing their Snap name, getting Snapchat friends to join Hoop, and taking surveys. And, since you can’t connect with people to learn their Snap username without “paying” with points, there’s a steady, addictive tug to keep performing certain in-app activities in order to earn more points.
Does Hoop make it easy to report bad content?
Does Hoop verify users when creating accounts?
Somewhat. If you have a Snapchat account, you can create a Wink account. Creating a Snapchat account is easy, therefore, account verification is weak and really anyone can join, which means even if an account is reported, it’s easy for offenders to jump back in quickly.
Do Hoop’s features facilitate bullying?
No. The app has one purpose – connect Snapchat users with each other. There’s only one communication that happens in Hoop – “will you give me your Snap username?” and that’s it.
Do Hoop’s features facilitate predatory activity?
Yes. What could possibly go wrong with an app that makes it easy for teens to share personal information with strangers? Within moments of logging on, our test account was flooded with requests to share our Snap username. And teens are rewarded with points for sharing their Snap with a stranger.
Even when the app knows your age, it can pair you up with older people. When we set our age to 13, within minutes we had a 20-year-old requesting to add us on Snap.
A predator can set their search preferences to show profiles within any age group. For example, a 25- year-old could set their age as 14 and set their search preference so they are shown profiles of 14-year-old girls first. They can also set their preferences to search for profiles in a close proximity to their location.
How does Hoop guard privacy?
The bottom line – is Hoop safe?
This app is for 17+. No question. Please keep your kids off of this app!
- Talk to your kids about your expectations about what types of apps are allowable.
- If you want to allow kids to pick apps but with permission – Set up Family Sharing (iPhone) or Family Link (Android).
- If you want to prevent access to app stores altogether – Turn off the App Store in Screen Time (iPhone) or use an App Lock (Android).
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*There are affiliate links throughout this post because we’ve tested and trust a small list of parental control solutions. Our work saves you time! If you decide that you agree with us, then we may earn a small commission, which does nothing to your price. Enjoy!