The Hoop app makes it easier than ever for students to meet strangers on Snapchat. Users swipe through profiles on Hoop, just like on the popular adult dating app Tinder. If they like someone’s profile, they can ask to connect on Snapchat. All actual communication happens through Snapchat, and not on Hoop – but this popular new app still raises lots of red flags for young users.
What is the Hoop app?
- You must log into Hoop with a valid Snapchat account. The Hoop app is built on the Snapchat platform (but is not owned by Snapchat)
- Hoop users swipe through profiles to find new people to connect with on Snapchat
- On each profile the Hoop user can either : push an “X” and go to the next profile or push the Snapchat icon to ask them to connect on Snapchat
- The app is rated 12+ in the iOS App Store and “T” for teen in Google Play
- Users only see potential matches in their age group
- Adults can’t see profiles of users under 18 and teens can’t see adults
- However, users can easily edit their age at any time to connect with strangers of all ages
- Hoop users spend “Diamonds” to make new connections
- You can earn extra Diamonds by sharing a Hoop referral code, rating the app on the App Store, taking surveys, adding Hoop profiles to Snapchat, and through other virtual tasks
The Hoop app became one of the most downloaded apps for January 2020
Why should parents care about Hoop?
- Since users can easily change their ages on the Hoop app, students could connect with strangers of all ages
- Users are encouraged to log in every day and make as many connections as possible to earn more Diamonds, which could contribute to excessive screen time
- Since users are encouraged to take surveys to earn Diamonds, there are also privacy concerns with sharing personal information
What can parents do?
- If your teen is using Hoop, have a discussion with them about the dangers of connecting with strangers
- Explain to your children that sharing their information with people they don’t know in real life is never safe
- Be aware of the app icons your student has on their phone and research the icons you don’t know to become familiar with them
The Hoop rewards young users for logging on every day, connecting with strangers, and for giving out personal information. Smart Social does not consider it a safe app for students. You can find age-appropriate apps in our Popular App Guide for Parents and Teachers.