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The Rise and Fall of Houseparty: A Game-Changing Social Media Platform

The Rise of Houseparty: A History of Communication on Social Media

The evolution of communication on social media platforms has changed the way we connect with friends, family, and the world. The ability to share experiences, stories, and information has made the world feel smaller and more accessible.

Houseparty is one such platform that has taken the world by storm and revolutionized the way we connect with others.

Foundation of Life On Air and Yevvo

The story of Houseparty begins with the foundation of Life On Air, a tech startup that aimed to connect people through live streaming. In 2013, Ben Rubin and his co-founders launched Life On Air, which later pivoted into two different apps: Yevvo, a live streaming app that enables people to broadcast their video feeds with others online, and Meerkat, which allowed users to stream their videos in real-time.

Launch and Rise of Meerkat

The launch of Meerkat in March 2015 was a game-changer in the world of social media. The app quickly rose to fame, thanks to its live streaming capabilities and the ability to share the video streams on Twitter.

The app allowed people to broadcast events, news, and everyday situations, allowing people to share their perspectives and experiences with the world.

Development and Launch of Houseparty

After the success of Meerkat, the developers launched Houseparty in January 2016. The app’s primary feature was to allow people to video chat with their friends in a casual setting, much like hanging out in person.

The app enabled people to have conversations with up to 8 friends simultaneously, create rooms, and join other people’s rooms at any time. Houseparty also introduced games like Heads Up, and its popularity grew rapidly.

As of 2021, Houseparty has over 10 million registered users and a steady stream of active installs every month.

Acquisition by Epic Games

In June 2019, Epic Games, the developers behind Fortnite, acquired Life On Air, including Meerkat and Houseparty. Epic Games plans to integrate the social and gaming features of Houseparty with their gaming platform, thus strengthening their grip on the social gaming world.

Connecting with Friends through Video Calls

Houseparty’s primary feature of allowing people to video chat with their friends has been its most significant highlight. The app’s user interface makes it easy to connect with friends and join their conversations seamlessly.

The app also allows users to “wave” at their friends, to let them know they are available to chat, and users get notified when their friends are using the app too.

Playing Games and Sending Facemails

Houseparty introduced games like Trivia, Heads Up, and Quick Draw, making it a fun way to connect with friends and family. The app’s unique feature of sending facemails, allows users to leave a video message when their friends are not online.

It adds a personal touch, especially in a world where people are more likely to leave a text than a physical message.

User Growth and Achievements

According to Apptopia, Houseparty’s daily active users surged to over twenty million during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The app has continued its growth with over 10 million registered users and a steady stream of active installs every month.

The app has also won several awards, including the Crunchbase App of the Year in 2016, and the Webby for Best Social App in 2017.

Monetization and Partnerships

One way of monetizing the app is through partnerships. Houseparty’s collaboration with Ellen DeGeneres to run a game show on the app, where users get a chance to win $5,000, is just one example of how partnerships can be profitable to the company.

Epic Games also plans to integrate Houseparty’s social and gaming features, which can contribute to the app’s long-term revenue.


The success of Houseparty is a testament to the power of social media to connect people and revolutionize communication. As people continue to use social media, Houseparty’s unique features that cater to casual, fun conversations will undoubtedly keep users coming back for more.

The future looks bright for the app, with the backing of Epic Games and the upcoming integration with gaming features. Houseparty’s growth can only continue, and it will be interesting to watch as the app evolves to cater to the needs of an ever-changing world.

Controversies and Partnership with Epic Games

The success of Houseparty was not without its fair share of controversies. In March 2020, rumors of Houseparty’s security breaches surfaced on social media, claiming that the app exposed its users’ personal information, including private messages, emails, and phone numbers.

In response, Houseparty offered a bounty of $1 million for any evidence that would prove these claims but found no evidence to back them. The company released a statement reassuring users of the platform’s security features and advised users to set strong passwords, use two-factor authentication, and only connect with people they know.

Despite the controversy, Houseparty continued to grow and thrive, announcing partnerships with When We All Vote and In The House. In The House was an event series that streamed concerts, DJ sets, and comedy shows directly into Houseparty’s app.

The events brought people together in an incredibly tough time when many of us were stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Integration with Fortnite and Gameplay Streaming

In late 2020, Houseparty announced its integration with Epic Games’ popular game Fortnite, a move that seemed natural with the acquisition of Houseparty by Epic Games. The integration allowed Fortnite players to connect with their friends through Houseparty while playing games, and also allowed users to stream their gameplay within Houseparty.

The introduction of gameplay streaming in the app was a significant milestone for Houseparty, taking the experience beyond video chats and games and into the world of gaming.

Acquisition by Epic Games

Epic Games’ acquisition of Houseparty was one of the critical moments in Houseparty’s history. The acquisition brought a host of new opportunities for the app, with Epic Games’ knowledge of the gaming industry and the potential for integration with its gaming platform.

With the integration of Houseparty’s unique social features with the Fortnite gameplay, there is no doubt that Epic Games is accelerating Houseparty’s growth in the social gaming world.

Shutting Down of Houseparty

Despite Houseparty’s popularity and early success, the app announced its shutdown in October 2020. The decision to shut down the app was a result of the decline in usage, which could be attributed to the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

As people could finally meet in person, the need for virtual socializing decreased. The app also faced tough competition from similar apps, like Dubsmash, who introduced new features that attracted younger audiences and went viral on social media.

Epic Games’ Decision and Future Plans

In a statement released after the announcement of Houseparty’s shutdown, Epic Games revealed that they made the decision to focus more on Fortnite’s already established social features than integrate those features into a separate app like Houseparty. Epic Games announced that all Houseparty accounts would be deactivated and that the team would be focusing on the advancement of video streaming technology.

Comparison with Other Similar Apps

Despite Houseparty’s success, the app was not without its competition. Similar apps, like Dubsmash, offered similar video chat experiences and attracted a younger audience with their unique features, like lip-syncing and dance challenges.

Dubsmash also provides users with personalized content recommendations and the ability to share their videos on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, making their app more appealing to younger demographics. The Potential of the Team’s Video Streaming Technology

While the decision to shut down Houseparty was unfortunate, it provided the team with an opportunity to focus on Houseparty’s strengths, such as its video streaming technology.

The team has the potential to use it to develop new features and apps that can be integrated into Epic Games’ existing platform. As Epic Games continues to expand its social gaming offerings and Houseparty’s team leverages its video streaming technology, we can only imagine the possibilities that lie ahead.

The rise and eventual shutdown of Houseparty is an industry-shaping moment that highlights the impact of social media on communication. The platform’s unique features allowed for seamless video chats with friends and family, while the integration with popular games like Fortnite highlighted the potential of even more unique cross-platform experiences.

Houseparty’s shutdown was due to a combination of factors, including increased competition from similar apps and the eventual easing of coronavirus restrictions. Nevertheless, the team’s video streaming technology remains a potential game-changer for the future of social media and its integration with the broader gaming industry.

The impact of Houseparty is a reminder of the potential for innovation and creativity in the communication space, and how it continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of users.

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