Houseparty: What Is It And Why This App Is Exploding As COVID-19 Self-Isolation Continues

houseparty app logo

It is going to be awhile before anyone can throw an in-person house party. As a result, many people have instead turned to social media and various video conferencing apps to keep in touch with their coworkers, friends and loved ones. The app Houseparty has particularly risen in popularity since the outbreak of COVID-19, aka Coronavirus. What is this app and why has it suddenly become so popular? Here is everything you need to know about Houseparty.

Houseparty is a free video social networking app. It is available on Android and iOS devices, macOS, and as a Chrome extension. There is also a beta of a web-based version. The app was originally released in 2016 by Life on Air Inc., a company that has since been acquired by Epic Games. It allows you to video chat with up to eight friends in a “room” and play a few rudimentary games together. Users can invite friends from their existing contact list to the app.

Why Houseparty Is A Different Kind Of Group Video Collaboration

One of the reasons that Houseparty has become so popular is that it offers a certain level of spontaneity and informality. Skype, FaceTime, and WhatsApp users need to “call” their contact. Zoom meetings can host up to 1,000 participants, but these services are primarily used by businesses and other institutions. Houseparty, on the other hand, simulates spur-of-the-moment in-person conversations and the ability to attend, or crash, a party.

houseparty app room chat

Houseparty allows you to instantly video chat with a friend who is online with no notice or drop into an existing conversation or “room”. You can pop into this room as long as it is open and includes at least one person you are friends with. Friends can simply chat with one another or play games that are similar to "Pictionary" and "Apples to Apples". If one of your friends is not available, you can hit the “wave” button to let them know that you would like to chat or send a brief video message. The app also sends you a notification when your friends have joined the app or are currently using the app.

Houseparty App Settings And Features To Be Aware Of

There are a few ways to limit who you talk to on the app. Users can “sneak into the house” if they want to see who is online, but do not want to engage in a conversation. Other users will not be notified, in this case, that you are online. You can “lock” your room to make sure that other people are not able to barge into your private conversations. However, many users have also complained that the app pushes out too many notifications. However, users do have the option to turn off all notifications or notifications for specific friends. So check those settings, people.

There are several other important things to note about the app, however. The app requires a wide variety of system permissions to function properly, including information about the user’s location. Users should always be wary when they share their personal data and contacts. Houseparty users can also record conversations. However, the app does not inform you if you are being recorded, so be mindful of that as well. It never hurts to review an app’s privacy and data-sharing policies before you dive in, so you're fully in the know of what's going on and what you're putting out there.