Self-isolating? Just throw a Houseparty

With all of Croud now working from home, we asked our internal staff to share some insight into the things they are doing to keep busy whilst self-isolating. In this article Croud’s Content Account Director, Billy Leonard, will share how the Houseparty app has revolutionised his self-isolation experience.

It’s a crazy world we’re living in. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you why. But this weird, self-isolating, social distancing world means we’re up against it, trying to find new ways to socialise whilst still flattening the curve. And as a result, apps such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Slack have taken off, as people try and connect more. But the real outsider, someone who’s finally on the up-and-up, is the Fortnite-family owned chaotic FaceTiming-esque app Houseparty.

Houseparty is currently the #1 app within the ‘Social Networking’ category on the App Store, only four years after its initial launch in 2016. It’s not like the app floundered upon launch – it hit 1m downloads in September of that year – however, it’s only in the age of social distancing that Houseparty has really propelled into the limelight.

Houseparty allows up to eight people to hang out in “rooms”, and you’re able to switch between rooms with a simple swipe. So much like a regular house party, you’ll undoubtedly walk into rooms where you only know a handful of people, or sometimes only a single person.

I feel like I must warn you that Houseparty is chaos. Pure, unbridled chaos. I’ve been caught pooping twice on this hell app now, due to my own idiocy around how it works. Each time you log in, you’re logging into a “room”. And when you log on, your friends can also see you are online and so they can join you in your room – provided the room is not locked.

I did not know this. Like many others, my first interaction with Houseparty was downloading it late on Friday night after one too many glasses of wine. Much to my surprise, each time you enter Houseparty, your friends get notified that you’re ‘in the house’, and promptly rush to enter your room and talk to you. And then they realise…

I cannot begin to tell you about the embarrassment. 

Anyway, one of the advantages Houseparty has over FaceTime is the addition of games. You can play four different games on Houseparty 

  1. Heads Up!
  2. Trivia
  3. Quick Draw
  4. Guac and Chips

Heads Up is a partnership with the Ellen DeGeneres game-slash-app of the same name, where one person has something (animal, concept, object etc) written down that they must guess, with the rest of the group giving them clues to help them guess. 

Trivia is another, easier option. Some of the questions are a bit basic (looking at you General Knowledge), but there are some good categories (Harry Potter trivia) and some generally baffling ones (Finish The Song Lyric – I’m 28! I’ve never heard of any of these lyrics!!). But the rounds are quick and easy to pick up.  

Quick Draw is Pictionary. This one is good for quickly working out who in your friendship group is rubbish at drawing. Endless hilarity – unless you hate Pictionary. 

Guac and Chips is the slightly-more-family-friendly and copyright-free version of the modern card classic Cards Against Humanity. This is good, if you can get some people who are committed. But it can be quite a slow one to play, especially if people are dipping in and out. 

Another great thing about Houseparty is that, just like a regular house party, you can wander off at any point. Feel free to just ditch your friends. This isn’t a scheduled work call. Just nip in and out of each room whenever you feel like it. 

And that’s basically it.  Have any other ideas on how we can pass the time whilst we’re all self-isolating? Let us know!

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