Back in 2019 Epic Games (of Fortnite fame) acquired an app called Houseparty. It stayed relatively quiet until 2020 when coronavirus saw millions of people stuck at home, looking for new ways to connect with friends and family beyond Zoom and Skype calls.
Houseparty is a video app with some differences. So if you’re looking to download it, we have some tips and tricks to get the most out of it.
What is Houseparty?
Houseparty is a video chat platform that incorporates aspects of social media as well as games. You can host or join a ‘houseparty’ (aka a video chat) with up to eight people and also see which of your friends are online.
If you see a friend has an open houseparty going, you can join it without an invitation and vice versa. Don’t worry, there are ways to make the chats private, too.
From there you can just hang out and have a virtual happy hour like any other video chat, or take things a little further by playing games.
You can also screenshare as well as record a video for one or multiple people through the app’s ‘Facemail’ feature.
Houseparty asks for a lot of permissions, but you don’t need to enable them to use the app
At the moment there are four free games to choose from – Trivia, Quick Draw, Heads Up and a Cards Against Humanity type-game called Chips & Guac.
You can start a game by touching the dice icon on the top right of the screen.
Best Houseparty tips
Houseparty is relatively straight forward, but we do have a few tips and tricks worth keeping in mind:
- Disable Notifications – You can do this during the set up phase or later on. If you don’t you get a notification every time a friend is online.
- Lock your chats – Part of Houseparty’s shtick is being able to crash open chats or ‘parties’. If you don’t want randoms or even other friends rolling up to your private conversions, make sure you make them private. You can do this by tapping the padlock on the screen.
- Permanently lock rooms – if you don’t want to set every chat to private, you can choose to lock them by default. Do this by hitting the smiley face on your home screen and then hit the gear icon. From there you can turn on privacy mode.
- Privacy and permissions – when setting up Houseparty it asks you for permission to access the likes of Facebook and location data to help find your friends. If you don’t feel comfortable with this you can skip all of these steps and add friends manually instead. Don’t give more data than you want to.