The Hooked app enables users to read stories in chat form, like a series of text messages or as a series of video clips. Since the majority of the stories feature sex, violence, and drug use, this app is inappropriate for students. Additionally, the Hooked app can have a major impact on your child’s digital footprint – especially if they use Facebook to sign up for the app.
What is the Hooked app?
- The Hooked app enables users to read stories in chat form, like a series of text messages or as a series of video clips
- Instead of flipping pages, users read text messages and then tap their screen to read the next text in the story
- Unless users pay for a subscription, they only get access to a limited number of text messages at a time and they won’t be able to see the photos in the story
- Users without a subscription have to wait 15 minutes before getting access to more texts or video clips in a story
- When downloading the app, users can choose to create an account with their email address or their Facebook account
- After logging in, users choose if they would like to see romantic or scary stories
- Users cannot fast forward or rewind video stories they can only pause them
The Hooked app in the news:
Almost every story features scary situations, violence, sex, and drug use, all in very contrived narratives designed to thrill readers… The comments are often downright hostile or no more constructive than ‘Ooh, nice!’ or ‘This sucks,’ making it a poor choice for beginning writers to share their work.–Common Sense Media
I have a 12-year-old, and I would never let [them] use this app… First, you select from story genres. Titles within a genre vary, but almost every story includes a thread of sex, violence, drug use, and horror.–Protect Young Eyes
Why should parents care?
- If your child has the free version of the Hooked app, then they can’t choose the stories they get to see and these stories can include explicit themes or imagery
- This app can have a serious impact on your child’s digital footprint, especially if they sign up with their Facebook account
- Most of the stories are too mature for younger audiences
- The Hooked app encourages spending which can be difficult for young students to navigate
- Many users have complained that there is no customer service to call if you’re trying to cancel your subscription without being overcharged
What parents say about the app:
My son downloaded this app and we are now being billed $4 a week When I go into Apple ID (like all the chats tell you) they don’t allow you to unsubscribe. They have Terms that go in circles and they don’t allow you to cancel the subscription if it’s within a 24 hour period. So if you’ve finally noticed this mistake and you’re about to auto renew, you WILL be billed again.
Source: Common Sense Media
What can parents do?
- Join the Smart Social Membership to learn about popular teen apps before your children hear about them from their friends
- We recommend that your child deletes this app if they have it and that you discuss why the app can be dangerous
- Before giving your child access to apps like the Hooked app, download them and use the app first to determine for yourself if it is safe for your family to use
- If your middle school student wants to write original stories, encourage them to write them down in a journal or in a file on your family’s computer – when they get older they can add these to their portfolio of accomplishments
- This will encourage your kids to cultivate their passion for writing while keeping them safe
- High school students can build a personal website that becomes their online portfolio of accomplishments. Once their website is built, they can publish their best writing there. Work with your high school student and review their work before they publish anything on their website
Due to the mature and explicit themes throughout the majority of the stories on the Hooked app, we do not recommend students use it. If your child has the app, ask them to delete it and explain why the app is dangerous.
Do your kids have the Hooked app? If so, what are some ways you keep them safe? Let us know in the comments below!