A virtual get-together is a great way to connect with your friends for a long-distance hangout. One of the easiest ways to host an online chat is to use a video conferencing app. The Houseparty app offers a combination of video chatting, messaging, and virtual games all in one spot, which makes it a great choice for your group calls. Here's how to use the Houseparty app to host virtual hangouts with your crew.
The Houseparty app launched in 2016, but if you've never used it before, it's easy to start. One of the big perks of using Houseparty is the option to play virtual games together in the app, as well as the private messaging capability. With all these tools together in a single app, it makes hosting a virtual hangout simple.
To get the Houseparty app, search for Houseparty on the App Store or Google Play and download it. You can also download it via the Houseparty website using Google Chrome. Next, create an account by filling out some personal information and choosing a username and password. Once you've logged in, you can add contacts to Houseparty by connecting with Snapchat or Facebook. You can also add friends by searching for their username or using your phone contacts.
The main screen will show a selfie camera. To get started, choose the plus sign (+) at the top right corner to add more contacts to your friends list or invite friends to a group call. Your friends' list is marked by a smiley face icon in the top lefthand corner of the screen. There, you can also add friends and manage your contacts on your friends list.
To start a call, click on the plus sign icon and invite your friends. After they join your room, you're ready to start enjoying your hangout.
To keep your group chat private, you can tap on the lock button on the bottom of the screen. It will change from an open lock to a closed one, signaling you've locked the room and no other participants will be able to join. The bottom screen also lets you turn your video and audio on or off and change from your front camera to your back camera.
If you want to play games, click on the dice icon below the plus sign, and choose from four game options. The games on Houseparty include Heads Up!, Trivia, Chips and Guac, and a Pictionary-inspired game called Quick Draw. Once you select your game, you'll start playing with your friends on the call.
You can get the Houseparty app for free on all of your smart devices for an easy way to start a virtual hangout.