Houseparty is the app for communicating with your friends and family on video. In it, you can create rooms your friends can visit, chat with them, send invitations, and play built-in games. Install Houseparty to see how different it is from other video chatting apps and how much closer it brings people together!
Party in Your House
As you install Houseparty, you start forming your contact list. Unlike Messenger that brings contacts from Facebook, or WhatsApp that fetches your phone book, Houseparty requires manual invitations and manual acceptance. It’s made for you to easier form your trusted list of people who can enter your parties.
As the party starts, the screen gets split, and you see both yourself and other participants. You see them all at the same time, talking simultaneously, with no option to adjust anyone’s volume (like in Discord). Each one gets an equal share of the screen, and as someone enters or leaves, the conference is reshaped. It’s a real party you host, making you feel your friends are physically there.
During the party, you can play built-in games by just tapping the button at the top of the screen. The games, though, require content, and it’s mostly paid. It makes sense to buy one or two games just to support the project, as its basic functionality is free.
Along with video communication, there is a built-in text chat. You can send text messages to your friends or just wave them in order to invite. These extras are very simple and never go beyond necessities.
Why It Makes Sense
Along with iOS and Android apps, there is a dedicated app for OS X and an extension for Chrome, making the service available on most platforms. There are many video messengers and conference apps around, and HouseParty seems to enter a very crowded space. But it delivers quite a different experience. Unlike WhatsApp or Zoom with appointed meetings or calls to accept, HouseParty creates an open space all your friends can join. It’s a feeling of being exposed to a sudden visit that we started to forget now, in social distancing time.
Houseparty constantly evolves, adding new games and improving video chat quality. But there’s almost nothing to seriously improve. The idea of hosting a video party is embodied nearly perfectly, with little to wish for. The app is easy to master. So keep it running in the background. And when you want to start a party, put your device on the charger, start your party, and let your fellows know you’re inviting.
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