The Brief: Houseparty is the free, social networking app where users can connect with friends face-to-face.
WHAT IS HOUSEPARTY?
With Houseparty, users can connect with friends near and far via live video messaging. The app alerts users when their friends, or “Connections” are “in the house” and ready to chat. Once a video chat begins, your Connections and any other participants’ Connections are able to join the same video chat session, allowing users to connect with new friends. However, if they wish to limit their video chat to their “Direct Connections,” it is possible to lock a video chat session.
AD-FREE SOCIAL NETWORK
As of January 2019, Houseparty has announced a business plan to “bring more value” to its users, rather than “extract value”. Instead of targeting users through ads based on their personal information and preferences, Houseparty is pushing towards making money by selling services, specifically games.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 30, 2019
Heads Up!, a game made popular on The Ellen Degeneres Show, is now available to play inside Houseparty’s app. Users are able to play the game, which has one player guessing a word that only the other players can see, for free, however some “packs” of words will cost $0.99 or more. Revenue will be split between Houseparty and Heads Up! The game was played nearly 4 million times during the two weeks following a recent episode of Ellen’s show, where she played the Houseparty version of the game.
Houseparty plans to add more games and other paid offerings based on interests such as crafting, fitness, and homework help.
— Houseparty (@houseparty) January 17, 2019
SAFETY & PRIVACY
Houseparty is recommended for users 12+. Houseparty uses personal information, including user-contributed content like name and stored phone contacts, personally identifiable information, and automatic information. The most popular way to locate other Houseparty users is by importing your phone’s personal contacts, however users also have the option to invite others via SMS text message.
As far as privacy is concerned, users are only able to join a video chat with another user with whom they are connected on the app, aka Connections.