What It Is:
According to Common Sense Media, “This app is all about connecting with strangers. Once you sign up using a phone number or your Facebook account, you can get matched instantly with a stranger — and both you and they appear on camera. Or you can swipe Tinder-style until you like someone and they like you (by tapping a heart). You can also enable location tracking to be paired with someone nearby.”
It’s iTunes profile claims, “With one tap, we match you with one of the 7 billion beautiful souls out there to start a video chat. It is super exciting, you never know who you’re going to meet next with just one swipe!”
A few of Holla’s counterparts are: Monkey (which Holla has recently acquired), Omegle, Chatroulette, Kiwi, LivU, Skout, Cake, and Instachat.
What Parents Need to Know:
Video chatting with strangers is risky for anyone, especially teens. When it’s paired with location tracking, it’s a no brainer. Teens should not be using this app. Also, while HOLLA supposedly bans certain content — like nudity and violence — user reviews indicate that masturbation, fake identities, and negative, hateful comments are common. The app’s age-matching feature is a red flag, too. People claim that is easy to pose as a 13-year-old on the app and get paired with 16- and 17-year-olds.
Project B3’s Tips and Suggestions:
The Holla App has lots red flags: it connects you with strangers, it has location tracking and young users can easily use the app with no age verification. This app is an open door for predators, trolls and inappropriate content. It’s fine for mature adults, its a no-go for tweens and teens.