Long-distance friendships, especially groups of them, can be incredibly hard to stay in touch with; while FaceTime works wonders in one-on-one settings, it just can’t meet the needs of large long-distance friend groups. HouseParty fills that gap, helping to keep you connected with all your friends at once. Blending video chat with just a bit of social media, this new app allows you to seamlessly video chat with as many friends as you please.

Getting started with the app is straightforward. After creating an account, you will be prompted to enter your mobile phone number, which then sends you a text message with a security code you must enter. Once you’re in, it’s important to allow the app to do two things: access your address book and allow push notifications.

Allowing the app to access your address book allows it to pull up anyone on your contact list who already has the app. Add these people, and you will be informed who is online and who has “just left the house,” as it describes the offline status. By pressing a waving hand emoji beside a friend’s name, online or offline, you can send them a notification informing them that you would like to chat.

You are now on your way to catching up with as many friends as you please!

The truly ingenious part of this app is that it allows you and your friends to know when video chats are already taking place so everyone can join in. All that’s required is a request to join the conversation. As soon as a third party joins, the screen automatically splits into halves, enabling you to see each friend while you chat. This repeats itself as more and more friends join the preexisting conversation, and there you are–you’re in a House Party.

Now a pragmatic person may ask what the point of having an app like this could be. Sure, it’s nice to talk with lots of friends at once, but when in particular might you want to do so? That’s easy: ever tried making plans over a group chat with more than three people? If you have, you know to what extent things can get chaotic and cumbersome. Confusion reigns and you inevitably end up waiting by your screen to see when and how people will respond, hoping everyone miraculously gets on the same page. When coherence and immediacy are a must, it’s always better to just speak to one another. That’s where HouseParty can come in handy, serving a greater purpose than a fun social app. Having over four people on the same screen and being able to speak to one another all at the same time really does simplify making plans by a considerable amount.

HouseParty proves invaluable when it comes to staying in touch with long-distance friendships as well as family you no longer live with. Living away from home for college is a reality for quite a few university students. For many, staying in touch with loved ones is extremely important. This app would certainly facilitate your ability to keep up-to-date with family and friends you may not get to see very much.

Whether it’s video chatting your three best friends who all want to go see a movie or talking with parents and siblings, HouseParty hopes to make the process a whole lot easier. Simply put, if you live away from home, you may want to consider joining the Party.

IOS download: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/house-party-inc./id863976658?mt=8

Android download: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.herzick.houseparty&hl=en





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