Billions around the world are being ordered to isolate themselves indoors as the coronavirus rages. In such unprecedented times, apps such as the Houseparty video chat app have surged in popularity.
Available on Android, iOS (for iPhone users), iPadOS and macOS, the face-to-face social network focuses on video chats, quizzes and games.
Together these bring people together digitally when they cannot be with each other physically.
Although Houseparty has existed since 2016, the exponential increase in the number of people in isolation for long periods.
This means Houseparty has fast become one of the most popular options on app stores.
Many other applications such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, Google Duo, Skype, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams and Zoom offer free video calling.
However, Houseparty’s incorporation of quizzes and games gives the platform a unique attraction for friends and families wanting to do more than just sit in front of a camera and chat.
How to set up Houseparty:
After downloading Houseparty, you will need to sign up, tap the app and follow the on-screen instructions for sign up.
Next enter your name, email address, mobile number and choose a unique username.
Because Houseparty has existed for a long time many usernames are already taken, meaning you may need to get a little creative.
Once a username has been chosen, you should link the service to your contacts.
You can opt to give the app access to your phone’s contact book and you can also pair the service with Facebook and Snapchat.
Houseparty will automatically recognise contacts and friends who have already signed up, allowing you to dive into chats almost instantly.
Those struggling to find their friends via the contact book, Facebook and Snapchat integrations, can also search for their friend’s username and add them that way.
How to use Houseparty:
Once set up on Houseparty, you will be taken to the main screen, where you will see your own face from the selfie camera of your phone, tablet or computer.
The plus icon in the top right corner allows you to find your contacts, and group multiple people together into a Houseparty for group calls.
Below that there is a dice icon, which is a quick link to some of the games available on Houseparty.
These include the Pictionary game Quick Draw and the Ellen DeGeneres-inspired Heads Up.
Tap a game and you will then be asked to add friends to play with you.