"Houseparty is a social networking app that allows up to eight people to video chat at once in a 'room,'" according to the app's website. "Users can have infinite rooms and easily float between rooms. Users receive a notification when friends open the app and can join chats with friends."
Houseparty, which is available on iOS, Android, macOS and Chrome devices, was downloaded more than 17 million times in March amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to app news outlet Business of Apps, citing data insights company Sensor Tower.
The platform features games that video-call participants can play while connecting via House Party. Games add a level of entertainment between callers, making the app more appealing to users looking for a more social connection.
Competitor apps Zoom, Google Meet, Google Hangouts, Cisco Webex, Facebook's Messenger Room, Skype and more offer varying numbers of video participants, privacy features, augmented reality graphics and filters, chat abilities and so on.
Up to 200 video participants can enter a Zoom video, for example, which may be one reason why the app became such a popular platform for businesses, schools, churches and other organizations during COVID-19. The app, however, has faced serious privacy and cyber-security allegations since the platform gained hundreds of millions of users amid the pandemic.
Houseparty has denied hacking rumors in March and even offered $1 million to whoever could prove those claims in a March 31 tweet.
"Houseparty is secure. There have been no data breaches and no exposure of customer data or third-party accounts," an April 2 blog post from the video conference app reads. "Immediately upon hearing these false reports, we assembled an internal team who worked alongside external experts to investigate. We determined these claims were not true."