Much of the world has retreated into coronavirus lockdown, leading many resigned to forego their favourite activities. However, this is not necessarily the case, thanks to the viral video chat app Houseparty.
Houseparty is a video-chatting app allowing users to have a virtual party with up to 8 people.
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Released in 2016, Houseparty is now regaining popularity as experts warn of the importance of social distancing in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Houseparty is currently number 14 in the App Store, ranked above Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Snapchat.
Here is how to use Houseparty to stay in touch with your friends and socialise — from a distance.
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How to use Houseparty:
First, download Houseparty from the App Store or Google Play Store.
You will next be prompted to connect to Snapchat or your phone for contacts.
You are not be required to sync all my contacts.
And logging in with Snapchat allows you to use your Bitmoji.
When you first open Houseparty, you will see yourself on the front-facing camera, with a few options available.
Swipe up, and you will see your best friends on Houseparty.
Houseparty will ask you to add friends.
Once friends begin to be added, you will start to receive notifications in the app.
The plus button on the upper-right corner, right above the dice, give you the option to add or invite friends.
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In the bottom of the screen, the open-lock indicates that other contacts can join and members can add more people to the call.
The smiley face button on the top left gives an overview of friends and notification settings.
The dots on the bottom-left corner provide three options: Share Screen, Record Facemail, and Disable Camera.
Sharing your screen and disabling the camera do exactly what they suggest.
Another option is to send a Facemail, similar to leaving a video message for someone, which will be received whenever they next open the app.
With billions of people now ordered to stay at home in an unprecedented bid to curb the spread of the virus, Houseparty has become an overnight sensation, with both Generation Z teenagers and their parents.
Last week alone, the San Francisco-based app owned by Fortnite developer Epic Games, raked in two million downloads worldwide, compared with around 130,000 the same week a month ago.
Copywriter Miranda di Carcaci noticed a recently many of her friends in Italy were sharing screenshots on social media of themselves socialising via a video chat app.
She told the Financial Times: “Houseparty’s popularity seems to have followed coronavirus around the globe.”
Andrew, a 30-year-old advertising executive, added: “I’ve been to three or four different parties in one night.”
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