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In the age of COVID-19 quarantine, we are all looking for ways to stay in touch with our friends, family and colleagues without seeing them face-to-face. What if there was a way to get the same face-to-face experience without the risk of exposure to the coronavirus? Introducing Houseparty. This app has seen a sharp incline in downloads over the past few weeks and we’re about to unpick how it works, what makes it unique to other video chat platforms, and why lockdown is the perfect opportunity to hop on the Houseparty bandwagon.

What is Houseparty?

Houseparty is a video chat style social app that is free for download on Android and iOS devices, and as an extension for the Google Chrome browser. It was released in 2016 and allows users to invite their saved contacts to use the app and chat with up to eight participants in a “room.” If your friends aren’t available, you can ”wave” to them, or send them a short message via video to let them know that you would like to chat.

Why is it unique?

One of the key distinguishing features of Houseparty is that it allows participants to play a few simple games together while they chat. Houseparty also holds the appeal of having an element of spontaneity. While other video chat applications prompt users to call other participants, Houseparty aims to provide spur-of-the-moment interactions and gives other users the opportunity to attend or crash a party hosted by their friends.

What are some other interesting features?

Houseparty offers the ability to “sneak in” to a house. This is great if you want to see who’s online but not necessarily start or join a conversation. Other users also won’t be able to see that you’re online when in this mode. You can also “lock” the room where you and your friends are having a conversation so that others can’t join freely. One complaint is that the app delivers a lot of notifications, however, there are settings where you can limit these, such as allowing notifications only for specific users or turning notifications off altogether. 

So now that you know the ins and outs of this exploding app, be sure to download it and encourage your friends to do the same. This will keep you both entertained and connected while isolating, and its unique features make it the perfect way to virtually escape the constrictions of the lockdown. Be sure to let us know if you give it a try!

Available for free download on iOS and Google Play Store.


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