by Kayla Schoenborn
The app “Houseparty” is a new and improved video chatting app. By allowing you to have up to 8 people in the group, it takes your group chat on iMessage or Snapchat to a new level. “Houseparty” is available on Android and Apple devices. It requires iOS 9.0 or later and is updated frequently. The newest update was September 6th, 2017. This app is free and is mainly for kids 13 and up. Apart from children this app could be used for business purposes like video meetings. The app is fairly easy to setup and use. When you first download the app you establish a username, enter your email, and then you give them your phone number and wait for a confirmation code. Once you enter your confirmation code the app will give you a list of friends whom you may want to connect with. You can select all the friends you want. If someone does not have the app you can send them an invite over text message. The icon for the app itself is white and red much like the YouTube mobile app, only this icon is a red solo cup, linking to the name, “Houseparty”. The icon itself is not eye-catching or interesting but the interior of the app is elaborate and efficient. It is straight-forward on how to start a chat. Compared to FaceTime, which is already downloaded onto an iPhone. This app is overall a better video chatting app. If you only want to chat with one person I would recommend FaceTime. Like most video chatting apps, this app drains battery very fast. Some worries that parents have is strangers joining a chat with their kids. Parents should know that only friends of yours and mutual friends can join. Kids can lock the chat so no one unwanted can join. Another concern is the ability to screenshot. Parents are often worry about personal information being leaked, but this is very uncommon considering their children should only be in a chat with friends who would not do this. One negative aspect is the glitchiness. After trying it out myself my friends and I all noticed conversations often cut out or do not load. With more updates the app is becoming less and less glitchy. One feature I enjoy is the ability to switch between chats while on the app. For example you could be having a video chat with friends in one and family in another. One thing I will be taking advantage is the ability to work on group projects efficiently. This app is perfect for collaborating with a group of people. Overall, I enjoy using this app and recommend it to anyone who is looking for a video chatting app.