The invites have been sent in the group chat, so it's now official: You're hosting a virtual Halloween party. The night will be filled with pumpkin painting, vampire teeth, ghost stories, and sparkly orange streamers — but, everyone must bring their own candy corn and tasty brew. You've got it all figured out, except the technology part — aka, which apps are the
best apps to host a virtual Halloween party.
Even after reading the descriptions in the App Store on your phone, it's hard to know which platforms will offer you the coolest features or will keep the audio and video synced up for a few hours. Will you be able to see everyone on your screen? Is there a chat button you can use when playing spooky games and trying to keep track of the score? These might be the questions you're asking yourself in preparation for Oct. 31.
The struggle can be real, especially in a year when a lot of your friendships are long-distance due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. So, here's the scoop on eight unique apps you can use for
your virtual party. Read up to find the app that'll best serve you and your BFFs this Halloween, and then turn your focus to your clever costume and snagging a bag of that candy corn. Witchin' good times are ahead.
The first of these apps will start a party in each of your friends' homes on Halloween. It's appropriately called
Houseparty, and is made for group video chats that last for hours on end. If you want to chat with your BFFs and play games like UNO, this app might be best for you. Specific games can be played in the app, thanks to one of its newest features. You can change the background of your screen to something more seasonal, too. 02
Squad - talk and hang out
Do you and your BFFs typically send TikToks in your chats, and laugh at them all together? The
Squad app will let you do that in real time and watch creative YouTube videos from your fave influencers.
Essentially, you just have to join a "room," and then decide on one person to take charge and share their screen. If you and your friends want to mix a Halloween-like drink or do a DIY craft during your party, this feature will allow you to do so with total ease.
Zoom has been a major hub this year as we all navigate virtual hangouts, learning, and work meetings. You may already have it downloaded on your laptop or tablet, but it can be downloaded on your phone as well for the party of your dreams.
Just go to the App Store and add
ZOOM Cloud Meetings. You'll love how high-quality the video and audio is when you're using this app. That alone makes it worth the download, and will help your party run smoothly as you bounce from one activity to the next. 04
Periscope Live Video Streaming
Those who want their virtual Halloween party to reach a larger audience than their friend group should go live on
Periscope. It essentially works very similarly to Instagram Live, where you're broadcasting your at-home party situation in real time. Guests can tune in and interact with you via hearts and comments.
The best part? The highlights from your shindig can be saved for anyone who wants to look back on them or missed the live stream. In other words, your friends who are tuning into many virtual Halloween parties can catch up afterwards and never miss out on an inside joke or candy corn pun.
Instagram isn't just for posting cute throwback pics or creating Reels for your loyal followers. It's also a great spot to connect with your people for a virtual Halloween party, with features like Instagram Live and direct messaging. Go live after setting up a background of orange streamers and hitting "play" on "Monster Mash" on your laptop, or put your BFFs in a group where you can share video messages back and forth.
If you choose to go live, save the session in your highlights or on your feed so you can look back on your mems. Many other video chatting apps don't give you this "save" feature, but you will certainly want to see the pumpkin-shaped cookies you've been baking again.
You and up to 32 friends can hang the night of Halloween with
Google Duo. This app, which has high-quality video and audio, will put your BFFs on your screen and give you a space to chat about ghost stories and the seasonal home goods you picked up at Target. With its Family Mode, you can even draw on the screen, making this app the perfect spot for playing Pictionary or "Guess That Halloween Movie."
Now, if one of your friends is having trouble connecting to the Internet or getting a good video signal, don't fret. Google Duo will allow you to switch to voice calling and keep the spooky party going.
Discord - Talk, Chat, Hang Out
Discord has every video chatting feature you could ever dream of, but its custom channel feature is probably the most notable and what makes it worthy of your virtual Halloween party. This channel feature allows you to create certain topics within your chat, so you can track down memes, fall inspo, and an itinerary for the night all in specific spots.
It's also ideal for friends who are joining the party late, or don't want to deal with calling. They can just add their voice to the conversation and not miss a single beat of the virtual social gathering.
Marco Polo - Stay In Touch
Marco Polo is a convenient and efficient option for anyone who uses it. If you want to tune into a virtual Halloween party, but also want to hang out with your dog or SO, this app allows you to leave video messages of any length. Connecting with your crew will seem so easy and still come with that exciting feeling of your BFF's name popping up on your phone.
The app is now free, but you can access Plus features such as voice-only messaging, enchanced speed controls, and playback options for $9.99/month. (Both versions include features like chat groups and saved messages.) Either way, let this app help you host your virtual Halloween party this Oct. 31.