The Brief: HOLLA is a social and dating app that pairs users with strangers for real-time video chats.

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What Is HOLLA?

Similar to apps like Chatroulette, Omegle, Monkey App, HOLLA is a live video chat app where users can talk to random people. HOLLA is also a dating app, with similarities to the swipe-based dating and hookup apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Grindr. The name of the app comes from the term “holla,” which usually means to say hello.

Location-Based Swiping

Users can match up with others randomly, choosing if they are looking to talk to “boys,” “girls,” or both. They can also turn on their location tracking settings in order to be paired with people who are physically close to them. If they choose to do so, the app displays numerous “matches” for them, showing how many miles away a person is, but not giving their exact location.

Age Restrictions

The app states that users must be at least 13 years old to use it, but the Apple and Google app stores state that users must be 17+. The only step to verify this is to select an age within the app, something that could easily be abused.

In-App Purchases

HOLLA is a free app, but users are encouraged to buy “gems,” which allow them to select the gender for their live mode matches. HOLLA Prime is a premium service that can be purchased for $10/month. It allows users to access more features within the app, including more gems for them to use.

Safety & Privacy

With HOLLA come risks of stranger danger, data collection, sexting, and invasions of privacy. Like many apps do, HOLLA uses people’s data in numerous ways, as laid out in their official privacy policyBasic internet safety and privacy precautions can help ensure the safe use of HOLLA, but it’s debatable whether or not an app that involves random live chats and location-based dating can ever be used “safely,” even by adults.

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