One of the greatest apps right now is the Houseparty app that is available on all platforms like Android and iOS. This “face to face social network” concentrates on video chats, quiz and other games to connect people digitally when they can’t be together physically.
The Houseparty app was launched in the year 2016 and was acquired by Epic Games from Life in mid-2019. With the rise in the number of people staying indoors for a long duration of time, it’s fast-growing as one of the most popular choices on the app stores.
There is an abundance of applications that offer free video calls. The list includes WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime, Google Duo, and much more. Houseparty’s with an extension of quiz and other games provide a unique attraction for friends and families who want to have more fun than sit and talk in front of the camera.
How to setup Houseparty
You’ll need to enter your name, email address, mobile number and choose a unique username. As Houseparty has been around for several years, a lot of the obvious usernames are already taken, so you may need to get a little creative.
Once you’ve chosen a username, it’s now time to connect the services to your contacts. You can also opt to give access to the contact book on your phone. You can also join the service with social media apps like Facebook and Snapchat to increase your friend network as broad as possible.
Houseparty will automatically identify your contacts and friends who have signed up on the app, enabling you to jump into chats about instantly.
However, if you’re fighting to find your friends through the contact book, or the Facebook and Snapchat alliances, you can also search via username and add them.
How to use Houseparty
On the main screen of the app, you’ll see yourself from the front camera. There is also a plus icon on the top right-hand corner that allows you to discover your contacts, and group many people together into a ‘Houseparty’ for group video calls.
There’s also a dice icon below, which is a quick link to the games available on Houseparty, including Pictionary, Quick Draw and the Ellen DeGeneres-inspired Heads Up. You can tap on any game and add friends to play along.
Swipe right to left to get to your inbox. Here contacts can send separate video messages to you if they want to leave a message when you’re not around. Houseparty calls this feature as Facemail. You can record and send video messages to your contacts.
While on a call you can use icons from the bottom of the screen to toggle your camera and mic on and off, switch between the front and the rear-facing camera and the padlock icon lets you ‘lock’ the chat to stop any further joining of users – useful in cases of a private conversation.
To quit a call or conversation, simply hit the X icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
Swipe from right to left over this pane and you’ll be taken to your inbox, where contacts can send you private video messages when they want to leave you a message and you’re not around. Houseparty calls these Face mail and you can also record and send them to your contacts.
Once you’re in a call, you can use the buttons along the bottom of the screen to toggle your mic and camera on and off, switch between your device’s front and rear-facing camera (if it has them) and the padlock icon allows you to ‘lock’ the chats to prevent any more people from joining – useful if you want to have a private conversation. To exit a call, just hit the cross icon in the bottom right corner of the screen.
How to turn off Houseparty notifications
Houseparty can be fun, but if you’re fortunate enough to be blessed with an overabundance of friends, family members and colleagues, the amount of notifications the app pushes out is pure fun.
The app is anchored to ping all your contacts when you come online or open the app. You will get a notification every time your contacts open their app. This can, at times, get annoying too.
But you can turn these notifications off easily by a simple tap on the face icon in the top left-hand corner and then tap “manage notifications”, toggle the sliders to the off. This will turn all notifications off.
Alternatively, you can also toggle the settings selectively on a friend-by-friend basis. You can keep notifications on for a selected few as you wish.
Houseparty seems to have policies that are similar to other leading video calling apps. However, it is always important to make the right use of the lock pad icon while video chatting to ensure your privacy. As far as youngsters are concerned, parental guidance in any such apps is always better. Overall, a good great app for all the fun from the comfort of your home.