Join the party: Review of new video chat app

Hours will vanish from your day once you download the Houseparty app- but you won’t regret it.

Writer Sarah Maddox, bottom right, and her friends using the Houseparty app. The app allows users to video chat with up to eight people at once. (Sarah Maddox/The Daily Campus)

The new social media app allows you to video chat with up to eight people at once, something that many of us have long been waiting for. The app isn’t simply a group FaceTime, though. It has a few twists that really make it a “party."

Once you open the app, your friends get a notification that you’re “in the house”. Usually, once one person is in the house, a whole bunch will join in. From there, the party begins.

My favorite Houseparty moments are when I’m in a group video chat with my friends and the little “Stranger Danger!” sign pops up at the top of the app, meaning that someone whom I’m not friends with is joining the conversation. (The strangers aren’t completely random...they have to be friends with someone you know in the video chat.) The addition of someone unexpected to the Houseparty conversation sparks all kinds of funny interactions and conversations. If the idea of people popping into your conversations freaks you out, don’t worry, you can “lock” your video chat whenever you want.

Another nice feature of Houseparty is you can “wave” at people if you want them to join your video chat but they aren’t on the app. It makes a chirpy whistle sound when someone is calling you, which in my opinion is much more enjoyable than the bland sound a Facetime call makes.

The app is socially acceptable anywhere. People use it when they’re bored in a lecture, dancing at a crazy party, studying in the library, or laying in bed. My personal favorite time to use it is in the dining hall. If I’m sitting alone, Houseparty reminds me that I have friends despite what everyone around me might think.

Because of this genius app, my family and friends from home have been able to meet my UConn best friends for the first time, which has been awesome. The app assures that the meeting is not awkward or forced. It’s light-hearted and amusing for everyone.

Most importantly, Houseparty has made me feel much better about my horrible sleeping habits. People are “in the house” at all hours of the night, which makes 2 a.m. studying a lot less lonely.


Sarah Maddox is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at sarah.maddox@uconn.edu.