Video calling amidst the lockdown, people are finding out ways to spend time, going back to their habits, even learning new skills and of course binge-watching shows on various online streaming services.
But one thing that most (if not all) the youngsters miss is their time spent with friends and the fun that came along with it.
While there are a lot of apps which provide the video calling feature, Houseparty is one which has hit the bull’s eye in this sector.
What is Houseparty App?
Well, we are pretty sure a large majority of our readers would already know the answer to it, having used/ still using the app (shown by its exponential growth in the Quarantine period)
For others however, it’s basically a video calling app in which you can play games and have fun, just like when you’re with friends!
The Quarantine period, though came with problems for all the major Companies of the world, with even giants like Amazon having their difficulties, it came as a boon for Houseparty.
It was ranked 1143rd overall on Apple’s app store in New Zealand on March 17th and in six days within the Quarantine hit the country, it went to the top.
Image: Growth of the downloads of the app in New Zealand in one day
Starting from New-Zealand, the fever spread throughout the globe in the matter of weeks as the Pandemic started having its effects and countries started to go in Lockdowns one after the other.
Houseparty saw a record 62 million downloads in one week in March!
Why did it grow so much?
So the question that is asked a lot is why was it that this app hit the bull’s eye when there were so many settled video calling apps?
One obvious answer is the presence of all those games, something which is not available in its rivals.
But we’ll have to break it down to really understand what’s different in that app.
It has the option of keeping the ‘door’ or the video call ‘open’ or ‘closed’ and also people can just ‘walk in’ on a video call which their friends might be having.
The use of all these terminologies gives the feeling of it being somewhat close to an actual house party where friends can just enter into a conversation, or walk in to the party.
Though all that are just slight tweaks in the usage of terms in the app, they make a psychological effect on the users, something which is clearly showing in the rise of its popularity.
The presence of games then, act like the ‘cherry on top’ where people can spend time with their friends, not only seeing their faces but also by having fun and playing games (again, like they would do on a house party)
Picture: Friends playing a game on the app
It is said that it’s never the product that sells, it’s the story.
And the story that the makers of this game are selling is being able to live those moments with your friends which you couldn’t have done previously without meeting them!
And that’s what’s worked for them!
“Houseparty will hack your passwords (?)”
Though its dream run took a huge hit when it was alleged that the app has been used to hack passwords on user’s mobile phones
Picture: A Twitter user claiming that Houseparty is hacking into several different apps.
There have been rumors on social media that the app has been hacking into several different apps, which lead to a lot of panic among its users as they started to uninstall the app and delete their accounts as well.
However, Epic games, the owner of Houseparty denied all such claims and even offered a $1 million bounty over hacking allegations, and claiming that those rumours were spread through a paid commercial smear campaign to hurt the app, the damage was pretty much done.
There is, however, still no concrete proof whether the app was hacking on the system or not!
Only a momentarily success?
Nothing can take away the fact that it has been a great success, but though the apps had existed since 2016, it’s success came, undoubtedly in this Quarantine period only, pretty much with the Pandemic
So, there’s the obvious question that will its success go away with the Pandemic, too?
Italy saw a slight fall in popularity of the apps as it fell from the top in the apps list there to the fourth as the quarantine rules were eased out!
Though the owner, Epic games are confident that it can keep on the good work by capitalising on this popularity, many experts believe that that may not be the case!
Will the apps rise to glory even after this pandemic is over?
Or will it become one that will be set aside, in the dark corners of the internet?
We’ll have to wait and see!