Host A Party. On Your Phone.

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Remember when you and your school mates used to get home from school and log-in en mass to MSN to ‘hang out’? They even had a video feature (though we’re pretty sure it was possible to count the pixels with the human eye). Well, a new app from the makers of Meerkat promises to make similar hangouts a whole lot better.

Houseparty lets you and up to eight of your friends share a split-screen video call. Houseparty’s rules dictate that no “randos” are allowed in your chats, but the app does connect friends of friends, so you might still see a few surprise faces if you join a mate’s chat. Like any other houseparty, you are free to turn up and leave at any point, but whilst you’re there, there’s no hiding – as soon as you open up the app, you’re visible to your mates. It sounds frankly exhausting, but then so is the current alternative of wading through a sea of emojis, GIFs and ’stickers’ in your WhatsApp group chats.

Houseparty’s creators refer to the app as a “super fast and simple ‘group FaceTime’ [and] an elaborate virtual space where people can hang with friends when they are physically apart.” It was their opinion that face-to-face chats over the internet had become “way too formal” – so Houseparty is their valid effort at bringing some levity to the format.

The Bottom Line: Conference calling is no longer the sole remit of account managers and corporate teams. Don’t be late to the party: download today.

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