Once upon a time (not so long ago), we were having fun outside our homes! But now with most of humanity put in a lockdown owing to the coronavirus pandemic, people are seeking ways to fill the void this new self-isolation and quarantine period has brought to them. So, when many people turned to technology to save them from this misery of loneliness, they got something better than they expected- a chance to continue their favorite activities like evening drinks, parties, dinner with friends, etc while staying at home! All thanks to the viral video chat Houseparty app.
The Houseparty app:
Houseparty is an app that is created with the focus on ‘Shared experience’. It offers full video chat functionality and allows up to eight people to hangout virtually where you can chat one-to-one, have a group chat and even play games and quizzes with one another. Overall, it is designed to give you a real house party experience.
How to use the app?
The Houseparty app is available for smartphones as well as desktop users. You can install the app from the app store or from the official Houseparty app website and once you register with your name, user name, email, phone number and a password you are all set to partying!
- Once you open the app, you will be greeted with your front-cam and you will go live.
- You can find friends, add new friends and invite contacts on your phone to join the Houseparty app and can host parties.
- One salient feature of this app is that when you come online, a push notification lets your friends know that you have arrived. If you want to bypass this by holding the app icon and selecting the sneak-in option.
- You can also mute notification for your friends to avoid an alert every time your friend comes live.
- You can create a Houseparty room and have fun with your friends or join other rooms. The rooms may be left open for strangers or may be limited to people who know each other.
- You can also send a recorded facemail to your friends who are not online.
- Did we mention you can hop on between parties? This means you can have a game night with your family and quickly switch to another room where you can have a happy hour with your friends and then back again to your family game night.
- You can ‘Pass note’ with others in the Houseparty app. This sneaky feature allows you to send private messages to anyone in a room.
- The Houseparty app has a cool collection of games to make your party more fun. When you are on a video call, you can tap the dice icon and you’ll have a lot of options to choose from including quickdraw, Pictionary game, heads up! trivia, chips, and guac.
Why has it become popular now?
Till February 2020, this app was like any other mediocre app with an average of 130,000 downloads a week, but in a span of few weeks this app has managed two million downloads per week in March!
Houseparty app is not a hot new app, it has been around since 2016, developed by Life on Air, Inc, and was later acquired by the Epic games (The company behind the sensational Fortnight game) in June 2019. As many countries have gone into lockdown and when people needed something that made them feel connected with the outside world, they started noticing the Houseparty app. Then the app experienced a huge increase in popularity and became the sixth most downloaded free app in App store in the USA and most downloaded app in Canada, New Zealand, and the UK. Thus, in a span of a few weeks, this app has become nothing short of a sensation.
What is the recent issue concerning the Houseparty app?
Amid all the fame and popularity this app had gained in the past few weeks, people are now concerned about the app as it is said to have privacy and security issues. At the end of March, several users reported that their several online accounts including Spotify, eBay, Instagram and Netflix accounts were hacked after a few days of installing the Houseparty app.
But, in a recent statement, the Houseparty app officials have said that they found no evidence of security breach and there is no evidence that suggests a link between the Houseparty app and the security issues of other online unrelated accounts. Furthermore, the company tweeted that “We are investigating indications that the recent hacking rumors were spread by a paid commercial smear campaign to harm Houseparty”. The company also announced a $1m bounty to the first person who can provide proof for such a campaign.
Not only this, a feature of this app that allows strangers to join a room also raised many concerns as many strangers started to spam the room with pornography and indecent exposure. So, as of now, most of the people who were using the app are now trying to uninstall the app and remove their account from the app.
How can you delete your Houseparty account?
The process is simple for IOS users. You can simply click on the user icon in the top left corner of the screen to find the settings option where you can go into the privacy option to select ‘delete account’. You will be asked for a final confirmation and your password to delete your account. In the case of android, you have no other way than to directly email email@example.com to request for your account to be deleted.
Thus, from being barely known in February to being a massive hit in March to become a topic of controversy, the Houseparty app is surely a sensation in this lockdown period. You can also check out the other mobile apps to kill boredom at home