A millennial favourite: find out about the new live-streaming group video chat app.

Like Facetiming? Now, you can video chat simultaneously with up to eight people at once using the new Houseparty video chat app. Trust technology to help us connect with family and friends regardless of location.

In less than a year, this popular children-friendly social networking service gained over 1million daily users, with each spending an average of 51 minutes/ day on the app. Sixty per cent of users are between the ages of 16-24. From the creators of Meerkat, Houseparty is a video chat letting teens (or any age) video chat with 2-8 people at the same time. Users can video or text chat with their friends and friends of friends.

How does it work?

It is a very simple and fun way to take video chatting to another level. Houseparty creates a live, always-on place that users can dip in and out of whenever you fancy. It’s one step up from Skype or Facebook live as the App allows you to chat with eight people at once using a split screen feature that breaks into separate chat boxes – one for each member of your party.

The Houseparty marketing says: One tap and you’re with friends. Invite your people, say ‘hi’ to see what’s up and party with all your friends. Users then invite people to join their ’party’ via text message. Every time you open the app, you will be automatically connected to any contacts who are also on the opp. You then have the option to start a group chat.

If users prefer a more private chat, that others can’t see, they can ‘lock’ the room. If somebody who is not a direct friend enters the video chat, an alert pops up – allowing users the opportunity to leave the conversation if they want. What’s more users can send photos, or a ‘side text’ which disappears after 24 hours.

Parents warning! As always, be aware of online stranger danger or sexting. This is live streaming, but don’t forget anything can be screenshot, or even screencast (when you video record what happens on your screen). There is no age verification – or at least not an effective one – so users must be alert to potential trolls or cyberbullies looking to access unsuspecting young people, or to create inappropriate content. ‘Because there’s no screening and the video is live, there’s always the possibility of inappropriate content for children,’ according to Common Sense Media. Meanwhile, Forbes says, ‘The group video chat is the perfect app for Generation Z to continue their disconnect with physical reality.’

November 2018