Here's The Deal With Houseparty, That App Everybody's Always Talking About

There's a new app bringing the energy of game night, group hangs, and play dates into the quarantined world. So what is Houseparty, and why is everyone using it now? The app is designed to bring more actual socializing into a social network, so it's no surprise that people are downloading it in droves.

Created as a face-to-face social network, the Houseparty app aims to deliver a little more humanness to online communication, and it's experienced explosive growth as friends and family find ways to stay connected during the pandemic. Sure, swapping emojis is great, but nothing can take the place of a real-life facial expression, whether that's a smile or an eye-roll. And this app can help keep those vibes going in your friend group even during quarantine. Best of all, it makes “Quaran-gaming” with friends super-easy, thanks to the games that come with the app. Everything from trivia to Ellen DeGeneres’ Heads Up is included, and playing is as simple as tapping the icon. Share the laughter, socializing, and fun of a group dynamic on your phone or computer, all while practicing responsible social distancing in real life. And perhaps best of all, it won't put a squeeze on your wallet. Available for iOS, Android, macOS, and Chrome, the Houseparty app is free to download (though it does offer in-app purchases).

In addition, the Houseparty app is equipped with a number of security features, so users are in control of their socializing. The Houseparty video chats must be initiated with a mutual "handshake," so no one can start chatting at you without permission. (If only every app were so civil.) You can even lock the room in order to keep your party private. The secure service has never been compromised, and it doesn't hang on to passwords for other sites.

If you have kids, then this app could offer another avenue for virtual play dates. Because Houseparty can be used for the whole family, as a company rep told Romper, it can help maintain your kid's social life for the duration of quarantine. Plus, the gaming aspect will give them a fun diversion for a little while.

This probably isn't news, but the experience of being quarantined can definitely affect your brain, possibly causing an increase in anxiety and depression, as reported by Bustle. So it's a good idea to stay connected to others in some way, whether that's by texting, making phone calls, or using a social app like Houseparty. Who wants to join me for a trivia match this evening?