What It Is:
Taking the form of an “online” hotel, Habbo is an internationally accessible social networking website where players can chat with each other using customized avatars called “Habbos” instead of their real names or faces.
What It Does:
Habbo is essentially a chat room or forum website, but presented graphically as different rooms of a “hotel”.
Would My Child Want It?:
If your child has friends already on the site, or likes role-playing games or anime, they might be interested in it.
Habbo’s user base is limited to users 13 and up, though this doesn’t seem to be very heavily policed.
Where Can It Be Used?:
Habbo is primarily used over the internet, though a mobile app is available.
What Should I Watch Out For?:
There is a lot to watch for. A lot! From bad language to sexually driven comments to cyber bullying. Everything is anonymous on Habbo, which is also a major red flag.
What Are The Positives?:
- Can be an outlet (though not necessarily a healthy one) for a child who is extremely enthusiastic about role-playing games.
- Most of the standard features are free (premium items are not, however).
What Are The Negatives?:
- Foul Language.
- Cyber Bullying.
- Fake users.
- Possible child predators.
What We Think:
The risks of Habbo far outweigh any minor rewards, so we recommend that you steer clear of Habbo entirely.