Huddle.

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Huddle. App Poster Image
Privacy, safety, validity concerns in video/chat support.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Handle stress through sharing experiences. Find ways to bring perspective to your own life situation while honoring the community and seeking support for your own mental health.

Ease of Play

Very easy to find or start a group, to post, and to choose how clearly or obscurely you want to appear on the videos.

Violence

Discussions about self-harm, PTSD, shooting victims and witnesses, and other group discussions may include frank talk about personal violence.

Sex

Frank discussions about sexuality, gender identity, and relationship issues.

Language

Profanity or crude humor may appear in users' videos and comments.

Consumerism

Asks users to promote the apps to "get one friend you trust to join Huddle. and unlock stickers for all posts."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Discussions in some groups about issues related to alcohol, drugs, and smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that "Huddle." is a video-based support group community for teens and adults. Users can find virtual support groups for a wide range of personal issues, including addiction, depression, and anxiety. Groups exist for support needs including people in LGBTQ and racial/ethnic/religious communities, those with "high school problems," those with body image issues, and those who want to create more specific groups. To help remain anonymous, users can pixelate their image on videos, if desired. Users can create their own support groups or join established groups. The terms of use indicate that users must be "of legal age to form a binding contract" to register, or have a parent's permission. However, there's no age verification. Also, there's no indication that mental health professionals were involved in development of the app. In addition, there's no obvious information around seeking professional help outside of the app and no resources for parents. If a user signs up using a Facebook account, there may be additional privacy considerations. Note: Apps designed for mental health purposes are best used in conjunction with a mental health professional and aren't a substitute for professional treatment. Because of the potentially sensitive information teens might share on this type of app, it's especially important to read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 10 years old July 2, 2018

Helped me out a lot

I use this to help other people and get help, too. It's a really good app but it has some things kids may not like. Other than that, if you're struggl... Continue reading

What's it about?

To use "HUDDLE.," tap Join Our Community. Enter your phone number or Facebook account info. Choose a username. View the featured groups or tap My Huddle to join groups and follow other users. In order to post on "Huddle.," you have to enable access to your camera and microphone. Users can blur their faces to obscure identity when posting videos and responding to other users' videos with their own video replies, or reply by text message.

Is it any good?

An app-based support group community sounds like a great idea -- and it may be -- but big potential risks exist, too. From "Child of Foster Parents" to "Cheerleaders," and "IB Is Hell" to "Having an LGBTQ Sibling," there's a support group for a nearly inexhaustible breadth of issues on "Huddle." Users can create their own support groups (some of which are very specific and rather obscure) or they can join more typical, general groups. On the downside, there's no warning for teens that this isn't a substitute for professional help, and there aren't apparent connections to reliable professional support resources. Also, adults can be conversing with teens about very sensitive topics. Blurring video images is completely voluntary, and there's no ability to change your voice. That said, users can report any questionable content posted by other users, and moderators will remove it. Another concern is privacy: Personal info (phone number or Facebook account info) is required to register, and the privacy policy states that there are cases in which personal information could be shared with "affiliated businesses." For older teens who have an in-person support network, professional help available, and understanding of how to use this type of app safely and responsibly, it could offer some additional buoying during tough times. Certainly, being able to share problems with a group of people who understand can be deeply helpful. However, the majority of teens who are struggling -- especially younger teens -- would need parental supervision to use this app safely and effectively as they're already vulnerable, would be talking to strangers, and would be sharing extremely personal information. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how to use "Huddle." wisely. What kind of information should a teen or adult not share on this app? Read Common Sense Media's How can I be sure my teen is being safe online?

  • Under what circumstances should a user who has concerns about the safety of another user reach out to the moderators to report those concerns? Talk to your teen about their responsibility to the community on a social support app.

  • If your teen is struggling to find support, help your teen seek out in-person options, too. There are often many resources available through school guidance offices, local social-service networks, youth organizations, and other community resources.

App details

For kids who love health and social networking

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