Huddle creates safe, digital spaces to share personal stories and struggles with those who have had similar experiences or would like to offer support. Members choose from hundreds of groups to join, from those with social anxiety to ex-felons, and Huddle encourages users to share, support, ask and answer questions, and learn from one another.
The sheer number of groups that exist on Huddle demonstrates the potential for many to connect and learn on this platform. Groups can focus on shared identities (such as military veterans, transgender men, or people of color), mental or physical health conditions, addiction, or relationships. While some groups only have a couple dozen members, others have thousands, such as High Schooler Problems, which has over 5,100 members. Huddle not only serves a variety of populations, but its popularity with certain groups clearly shows its power.
Huddle emulates a social media platform, allowing users to post, comment, follow people, and look up trending groups and posts. In my use of it, however, Huddle seemed overwhelmingly more positive and supportive than troll-riddled social media platforms, with its kind and encouraging comments, a support button, and happy videos of pets and original song recordings to cheer people up. This safe, community-oriented feel is likely to encourage more openness, question-asking, and uninhibited learning.
The platform is also unique in its reliance on video recordings for people to share their stories. For those who are more comfortable with anonymity, the video’s pixelation level can be adjusted, but for those seeking a more genuine, face-to-face experience, the video feature is a great option.
Sometimes I struggled to find quality content on Huddle. I think it is important that users have the ability to post however and whatever they’d like, but the downside of this is that many groups end up with what felt more like dating profile videos or extended, filmed selfies that didn’t contribute to the mission of the group or the site. These videos didn’t warrant a use of the site’s report function, but they were annoying. Know that if you use this platform, some content sifting will likely be involved.
It’s also important to note that Huddle seems to have found its target audience in teenagers. If you are an adult, there are definitely groups for you to join, but it’s a bit more difficult to find them.
If you can find your niche within it, Huddle can be a great platform for those struggling for a space to find and give support while learning from the experiences of others.Image: Huddle via iTunes