The Houseparty app has become the go-to socialising tool for those stuck self-isolating indoors and is now topping the download charts around the world. The free app lets users chat and play games with your friends and family while you all stay safe in your own homes.
Houseparty is easy to get – simply visit your chosen app store and download the free app.
Users can get it on the App Store, Google Play and is also available on your desktop by adding a Chrome Extension.
Then, you need to sign up – you need your email, phone numbers and to choose a username.
Remember, your username is how others find you, so make it easy to search for.
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How to add friends on Houseparty:
The app will ask you to grant it access so your contacts can be added.
You will see a list of your friends who already have Houseparty installed.
Simply click Add and they will be automatically added to your address book.
By clicking Invite you can ask friends to join who do not already have Houseparty.
You can also add people manually – all that is required is their username.
There is a little face in the top left side of your screen that takes you to Add Friends, click Add By Name.
How to start a Houseparty:
When Houseparty is first launched you will see your own face, before a menu appears listing the friends you recently called as well as active party sessions.
You can join these if you like but if you want to start your own then swipe down the menu for your home screen.
There is a Plus sign in the top right corner – select this and you will see your contact list.
Choose the users you wish to invite then click Invite to Room.
Again, from the home screen, you can start things by choosing a game.
There is a dice image in the top right corner on the Home screen.
Choose the game you want then click the Plus button to invite players to the room.
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How to block people on Houseparty:
Houseparty users have been complaining how random people are joining their video chats.
Social media is ablaze right now with people recounting horror stories of strangers joining their video chats.
This means if your party is not locked, or you don’t have Private Mode enabled, it’s possible for people to find your chat room and join it pretty easily.
Obviously, this presents a probably, especially since you never know just how nefarious people could be on the app.
The good news is you can easily turn on Private Mode, which will lock any chat rooms you are in — whether you created them or not.
To do it in the app, just go to Account, Settings, Private Mode.
How to play games on Houseparty:
When your friends are all in a video chat or room you can find the list of games by hitting the top right dice image.
As with everything on Houseparty, choosing which game to play is rather self-explanatory.
When you want to stop the game, however, it is a little more complicated.
The game will stop automatically when you finish a round, but if you want to jump ship early you can only do this once everyone in the room agrees to end the game.
You all need to tap the X in the screen’s top right corner.
If you hit the X in the bottom right you will all be thrown out of the room.
Is the Houseparty app safe?
Houseparty is pretty secure, with the rooms all coming with the Lock function and you can choose who you want to chat with.
For parents wondering if Houseparty is safe for their children to use there are also filters to block out people who aren’t explicitly invited.
Accounts are also secure, meaning you can get messages to chat from anyone, but these can be ignored.
No video can also begin without agreement from both parties.
Parents may wish to have a chat with your child to make sure they know about the higher privacy settings and ensuring they are set up.
Houseparty also has a warning that pops up if someone sneaks into a chat.
Users should also be aware there is no age limit for the app.
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