New Hoop app poses danger to user’s privacy

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Caitlyn Gooden

Hoop is a relatively new app that has sprung into the spotlight of popularity among teenagers. It can be downloaded for free on the app store and connects with the user’s Snapchat information.

Essentially, the advertisement for Hoop is a new way to meet friends and connect with others you would have never met. The user chooses pictures to feature and other owners of the app can tap an “X” or a checkmark, indicating that they are interested in befriending the user. 

Hoop gives each downloader 100 “diamonds” and it costs 10 diamonds every time the user requests a person’s Snapchat. To gain more diamonds, all the user has to do is share the prepared advertisement to their friends, and they are rewarded with more diamonds to spend. 

The app is trapping teens and other young adults into another time-consuming social media app which opens the gateway towards nothing but problems. With no other way of determining what a person may act or be like, other than a photo, the judgment of who people are handing their social media information to is questionable. 

“I think it’s fun. You get to meet new people from all over the country or the world if you feel like that,” sophomore Ella Young said. She is a user of the Hoop app and enjoys being able to be in touch with lots of interesting new people. However, when talking about the safety of the app, her tone changed.

“Some people ask to see Snap Map [a location tracker feature on SnapChat] and you don’t want to share your location with random strangers,” Young said.

Kids have always been taught to never give their personal information out to a stranger, and society continues to make apps like Hoop which just makes it easier.

“I think that on the surface it seems like a great idea. But you’re basically gambling with the exchange of child pornography,” junior Skyler Arredia said. 

She is not a user of  Hoop but is aware of the app via friends. Just like any social media, the platform can be used to befriend others but also can become a tool to encourage young audiences to get involved in things they should not do. Hoop is originally intended for a 17+ audience and has no specific privacy policy in terms of service description. Mixing already immature teenagers and contact information with strangers is just another problem waiting to happen.