Houseparty teen-friendly app comes from an unlikely developer

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Meerkat may have helped spark the live streaming craze, but its creators’ latest app takes a different approach to video.

Instead, the new House party, now available on Android and iOS, is a Snapchat-like app for group video calling.

The idea, according to the company, is to capture some of Meerkat’s spirit but in a more personal way that encourages users to participate. Unlike Meerkat, which was only for public broadcasts, Houseparty’s video calls are aimed at small groups of friends.

You can add friends based on the phone numbers you have saved in your contacts or search for their usernames. Once the app is open, you can join “rooms” (the name of apps for chats) with other friends who are currently in the app.

Chats are limited to eight participants per room, but you can have as many rooms as you want (you can switch between concurrent chats by swiping the screen.)

The company behind Houseparty, now called Life on Air, has apparently been testing Houseparty since the start of the year, but has done its best to distance itself from the name Meerkat. Ben Rubin, CEO of Meerkat, previously revealed his business was moving away from live video, but didn’t say what his new product would be, other than saying it would be a social network. video-oriented.

Although it has gone fairly unnoticed so far, the app has apparently already amassed a significant user base, mostly among teenagers. In many ways, the app is geared towards these young users: emoji are generously sprinkled throughout the app and the app’s interface, which launches right into the camera, looks remarkably like Snapchat.

There are also fun Easter eggs, like a “stranger danger” warning that appears if a mutual friend you don’t already know joins one of your chats. (The company tells us that this is apparently how its teenage users flirt with the app because, of course, they do.)

As in Snapchat, the design of the application is not very intuitive and above all avoids explaining its features as you go (sounds familiar to you?). In other words: the learning curve can be a bit steep if you’re over 23.

It doesn’t matter, at least for now. Due to an early marketing campaign on some college campuses, Houseparty has already had quite a bit of success in the App Store and the company says it expects this to continue now that school is back. .


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