If there’s a house party, Seamgen better be invited. Oh, that’s right. It’s a Houseparty. We will walk you through this new live streaming video chat app, from its humble beginnings to its success and current competitors.

From Humble Beginnings

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In February 2015, the company Life on Air, Inc. announced its release of a live streaming, mobile video app known as Meerkat. The app quickly gained popularity, leveraging its success at the Southwest Interactive Festival in March 2015. Meerkat users could connect the app to their Facebook or Twitter account, and live stream to their friends and followers from those social media platforms.

Its popularity was short-lived as Twitter-owned Periscope and Facebook Live took over the live stream market; Meerkat was subsequently removed from iOS and Android. This was not the end for Life on Air, Inc. The company was secretly developing a new mobile app under the pseudonym, Alexander Herzick.

For 10 months, the company went through strategic shuffling, and from the ashes, a new live streaming app, Houseparty, was born.

You’re Invited to the Houseparty! 

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Unlike its Meerkat predecessor, Houseparty decided to take a different route, shifting its attention to private live streaming sessions. The company realized that only select individuals consistently wanted to publicly live stream throughout the week.

Houseparty was released in May of 2016, and the live streaming app quickly gained momentum; it recently reached No. 2 in Apple’s app store, with 1 million users. The app itself caught the attention of many college campuses, also finding success with teenagers and young adults.

Life On Air cofounder and chief executive Ben Rubin recently spoke with VentureBeat in an online chat:

“On the surface it feels like it’s a super-fast ‘group Facetime,’ and what gets us really excited is that it’s actually the atomic unit (first step) for our vision to build a synchronous social network where people hang with their friends when they are physically apart.”

Setting Up Houseparty is Easy!

After downloading Houseparty (available on iOS and Android), you have to register your email or phone number before you can host or join a live streaming session.

Once you are done setting up, you can add friends by searching their user names or by adding them through your contacts.

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Hosting & Joining Sessions

In order for you to host a live streaming session, all you have to do is swipe up on the arrow at the bottom of your screen, and then wait for friends to join. Additionally, users are notified when friends open up the app, and it’s easy to alert your friends when you’re ready to chat.

If you want to join a session, simply click the join button located next to your friend’s name and you will be able to live stream with them. Houseparty also notifies users if they are entering a live streaming session with a stranger in the room.

If that last line scared you, it’s easy to create a private session by locking the room from unwanted guests.

Once in a session, you’re broadcasting your live session through your phone camera with up to 8 people. Boasting a user-friendly interface and high-quality video chatting sessions, Houseparty is a major player in the industry.

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Competition

Houseparty has hit the market full-force, but there are already several similar apps available right now.

Microsoft’s Skype has been around since 2003 and is still a highly popular video chatting app. With Skype, users have more options than Houseparty; however, the ability to call a friend’s mobile number is a paid feature with Skype, but free with Houseparty.

Apple’s Facetime is another one of the more well-known apps, but it is exclusive to the iOS software. Facetime has much more limited features than Skype, and intends to stay that way.  Facetime has remained successful since it comes pre-installed on all Apple products.

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Google Hangouts is Google’s premier communications platform, and allows up to 10 people to video chat at once –2 more than Houseparty allows.  Pro tip: Work for Google and your Hangouts app is updated, connecting up to 15 people at once through video chat.  Google also has Hangouts on Air, where up to 10 users can live stream to an unlimited number of viewers.

As of August 2016, Google rolled out its “Google Hangouts retirement initiative” in the form of Google Duo. However, Google Duo only lets users video chat with one other person. For a complete list of Duo’s features, click here.

Thank you!

We hope you enjoyed reading more about Houseparty. The app is still growing and picking up momentum, so be sure to check it out!

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