Houseparty App Review: The social video app exploding for all the wrong reasons

Houseparty App review
It's been a tough time for the world due to Covid-19 with the situation breading several kinds of discoveries and that has always been the case albeit the norm has become lopsided a bit now that more than half of the earth is at a standstill.

We've seen some cooperation's move their businesses online - for those who initially were yet to, some already have their human workforce cut down in pursuit of digital and remote personnel while several are already counting the big financial cost of the Coronavirus pandemic.

But one company that sure have seen their fortunes skyrocket amidst all these is the self-styled Houseparty social video service owned by Fortnite developer — Epic Games.

The app has recently been downloaded millions of times, is available for Android, iOS, iPadOS, and MacOS, and essentially allows you to video chat, play games, and more — all without actually leaving your house.

It was number one on the Nigerian and United States trend last week and with everyone stuck at home for the time being Houseparty may be the app for you. 

What is the Houseparty App?

For the sake of clarity, Houseparty isn’t actually new. It was first released in 2016 as a video chatting service with extra unique features like games and quizzes to go with. Well, not until the current pandemic set into place that it had gained quick popularity.

With millions of people stuck at home due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it has quickly ammased a huge number of following and active users all over the globe. In fact, App Annie last week alone reported that the app gained a massive 2 million downloads.

Difficult to say if this magic spike in download and users is a result of the app being owned by Fortnite developer Epic Games, who bought it in 2019, the resultant boredom effect of staying long hours at home or the many features it packs along with.

But one thing is certain, you're in for a threat!

Houseparty Features

Houseparty App review
Houseparty Room Session: Financial Time
There are plenty of gimmiky features about this app and sure some fun things you can do when in a Houseparty with other users, and those things make it arguably more interesting than traditional video-chatting apps.

Remember the FaceApp of 2019?

The first and most unique is the ease of "connecting with users without initiating a chat".

When you open up the app, you’ll be able to see which of your friends are online and ready to chat — and your friends will be notified when you’re online too. It’s super easy-to-use, and that’s easily one of the best things about the service.

Unlike the traditional Facebook and Instagram app, many of the users see this as very awkward as intruding users can immediately lock up a houseparty with you and your partner(spouse) without been invited 

But then there is always a first time!

Users will no doubt be making use of the “lock” their room option often to avoid random users entering the same room with them.

...Something to advise your kids on when using the app.

The fun actually begins once you start actually chatting with friends. After the chat begins, you’ll be able to choose from a number of games to play. Games include Heads Up, Trivia, Quick Draw, and more — and they can be played with up to eight people at a time.

The Houseparty app has other fun features too. You can send so-called “Facemails,” which are video messages that will play when your friends open the app, and you can screen share too.

And, thankfully it’s relatively easy to get friends on Houseparty since it pulls contacts from social media apps like Facebook and Snapchat to tell you which of your friends are already using the service and to allow you to invite others.

This is where the fuss on possible misuse of user data comes in as you will have to give the Houseparty app permission to look up your details on Facebook and Snapchat.

The app is no doubt still in its genesis with lots of features expected in due time alongside the key assurance over handling of user data.

Is the Houseparty App safe to use?

Epic Games acquires Houseparty

Despite Cambridge Analytica locking up its doors in the aftermath of the Facebook data-theft scandal in association with the Trump and Leave.Eu campaign, individuals have always felt their data were being compromised by big tech firms at the expense of their personal security.

In fact, the effect has been an eye opener with internet users now conscious of programs they sign onto, sites they enter their personal information on and how they handle their internet banking and financial transactions.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, video chatting services in general have become increasingly popular over the past few weeks, both for professional and for personal use.

The most popular services include the likes of Zoom and FaceTime, however, Houseparty differentiates itself from the other services with its games and quizzes.

Parents are also advised to be mindful of how their teens make use of the Houseparty app since user-to-user connection is quick and does not require initiating a connection of any kind. Digital trends reports experts warn the app could be a digital privacy nightmare for users.

And you have to think that if tech giants like Facebook and Twitter could face data breaches, it is almost an insurmountable task for any startup to be prepared for it too.

No doubt, a Zoom and FaceTime for the future? First Houseparty developers will have to deal with the negative reviews pouring in from early users about user data mismanagement and a subsequent Hacking sabotage reported since last week Monday.

Where to Download Houseparty

As of the time of writing this post, the Houseparty apps is available on your different devices. Android apk and iOS users can now get the full features of the Houseparty app and there is even the MacOS version to sweeten things up when at the workplace. No Windows version for now.

You can download Houseparty for Android, iOS, and MacOS.

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