Houseparty: how does it work? Is it really safe?

Houseparty: an app that is also a song

And in the backyard the colors of Rio De Janeiro, and they have always been there but I didn’t see them. Now I see them very well

Annalisa says so in her latest single entitled proper Houseparty, out on April 15th. “A song that tells very well the moment we are living,” says the singer.

And yes why Houseparty It is the app of the moment. Cheerful name, which immediately betrays a non-professional intent, Houseparty is a group chat service that allows you to video call up to 8 people and organize several “parties” simultaneously. Compared to apps like Zoom, the House Party approach is more social: once you find our friends, notify us when they are “at home” and ready to chat. Ditto when we open the app: our contacts are notified. In everyday life, this can be a little stressful, but in a quarantined world we have found that it’s pretty funny.

Houseparty: how does it work? Is it really safe?
Houseparty: how does it work? Is it really safe?

How does it work

Houseparty is a free app for iOS and Android and it also exists in the Mac version and as a Chrome browser extension, to chat from the computer without having to download anything. Once registered, the app searches through our phone contacts and Facebook friends and asks us if we want to add them. From that moment we can chat with them.

The rooms

Once added to the friends list, our contacts have free access to our space on Houseparty and we can converse with them. In the meantime, however, we can also take part in the conversation of other friends, entering and leaving the rooms, just as if we were at a party … At home. To switch from one video call to another just a swipe (scroll with your finger) from one side of the screen to the other, until we find the room that interests us.

Privacy & security

Access to the rooms is free. The only limit is the number of guests that cannot exceed 8. But, always in keeping with the metaphor of the house, Houseparty also allows us to lock ourselves in, selecting “lock your room”, at the bottom center of the screen phone. In this way, only those who establish us can enter by clicking on the padlock icon with a “+”, which is located at the top right. In any case, it is good to specify that only the friends we have among our contacts can enter our room even when it is open: “outsiders” are not allowed access.
About Privacy: a few days ago the news circulated that Houseparty had suffered a cyber-attack by some hackers, who allegedly violated its secrecy. All false, according to the company that offered a million dollar reward to anyone who will be able to provide real evidence of the hacking campaign.

The commands

The advantage of Houseparty is that of being an intuitive and easy-to-use app. The controls are located at the bottom of the screen. The first is graphically represented by 3 dots: by clicking on it we can disable the video, record a message or share the smartphone screen with our friends (showing them photos, drawings, diagrams). The second button, the two arrows, allows us to switch from the front chamber of the smartphone to the rear one. Then there are the padlock to close our “room” and the button to disable the microphone. By clicking on the emoticon at the top left, we have access to the list of contacts.

How to invite friends?

When the app is open, a touch in the center of the screen is enough to see the list of available friends or a link to copy and send to the people we want to chat with.

Games

Being an app designed more for leisure than for professional use, Houseparty allows you to season the video calls with emojis and above all to challenge boredom with pastimes which can be accessed by clicking on the dice icon, at the top right. Nothing special, mind you: just a challenge to Heads Up, Trivia and other “table” games, albeit virtual. But others may come soon: Houseparty has been part of Epic Games for a year now, which publishes Fortnite and other successful video games. The idea is to make it also the chat most used by gamers around the world. In the meantime, however, he makes his bones with the world in quarantine …

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