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Houseparty; is this the new era of video conferencing

 


Last year during lockdown my friends and I used this app called Houseparty during quarantine so that we could stay in touch while being at home. It was used mostly by teenagers in the last few years, but this year adults have started to use this easy mobile app to talk to their friends as well.

 

Houseparty lets people have group video calls on mobile and desktop. It was launched back in 2016 by Life on Air, Inc. and is available on Android mobile devices, iOS, Google Chrome, and macOS. When you enter the app, your friends receive a notification that you are online and if you have not been on the app for some time, the notification says this friend has not been on for a while so that users are more motivated to talk with that person.

 

Life on air was founded in 2012 in Israel by Ben Rubin and Itai Danino. A few years later after a few trial and error apps, they thought of creating a social network that involved live streaming with friends, and for the app to allow people to easily talk face to face with others online as soon as they enter the app. After Houseparty was released it grew very quickly with 1 million daily active users within a year, they also managed to raise 50 million dollars, seven days after launch then they decided to go large-scale. Soon after, Houseparty’s growth started to slow down and it was not growing enough to be profitable anymore. The company made the choice to sell Houseparty and in June of 2019 Epic Games bought the app, which is why there is a button to play fortnight in the app as fortnight is also owned by Epic Games.

 

Last year Houseparty grew massively due to Covid-19 lockdown and people were looking for an easy way to talk to their friends while bored at home, without scheduling unlike zoom or google meet, which need planning and login codes. Houseparty became the No.1 social app in 82 countries being the No.1 in the U.S. App Store and No.3 in the U.S. Google play store. It gained 50 million users in one month and quickly reached hundreds of millions of users total. Now on average users spend 60 minutes per conversation on this app.




The app started out with just a few functions allowing you to call friends, follow them, make groups and text but a few months ago they added multiple games you can play together with your friends and recently they have added a few green screen backgrounds for when you are in a call, but for now, users are limited to a few backgrounds created by the app.

 

You can mute yourself and switch off your video (just like in zoom) and you can lock the room (the call you're in) so that others who find your group will not be able to enter, making your room private. The app lets you know when people have just left the app and next to their name it would say “Around” with an orange dot so you know they may be available to talk. Users can also call friends but if they don’t want to call, there is a hand emoji next to other users' names, that when tapped, will send that person a notification saying this friend wants to talk.

 

The app shows you, people, you may know, based on who your friends follow, just like other networks and you can also see how many mutual friends that person has on the app. In direct chats with specific individuals or groups, there’s an option called facemail where you can send a recorded video message in the user's chat.

 

Houseparty also links with your Snapchat account so if you have bitmoji logged into your Snapchat account, Houseparty uses your bitmoji as your profile picture and your name for an easier setup in the app.

 

Overall, this app is very cool and easy to use for any age and is the first app of its kind to allow easy, accessible conversations with friends and help people keep in touch, and bring people closer.



Alexandra Vidoret-Ponce

A 15 years old teenager, Social Media Enthusiast, writer, actress, listens to 90s dance music, a fan of comedy shows, travelling abroad and ice cream.



Editor’s Notes
Mili Ponce 


I can see this going corporate if companies wanted to recreate the office experience.
That will make it almost like been in the office, offering what many people miss the most from an office, which is, going for a coffee and talking to your colleagues so they could have a coffee room, or like stopping at someone's desk to have a 5 min chat.

What is the main difference with Zoom, well here you can talk to anyone that entered the room, so people can enter a coffee room or a discussion room and you can video chat without planning or scheduling a call.

Is that how the future office experience looks like?
I would like to see if a company tries it, I certainly will in my company.



Houseparty; is this the new era of video conferencing Reviewed by Ale VP on Friday, February 26, 2021 Rating: 5

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