If you’re like most people, you probably heard about Houseparty sometime late last week. But even if you didn’t, chances are that you saw the news on Twitter or Facebook thanks to the app’s sudden rise in popularity. The thing is, the app gained notoriety thanks to its abrupt and unexpected shutdown as opposed to an honest-to-goodness groundswell of interest in it—and although we can’t be entirely sure what caused it to be shut down, there’s plenty of speculation about how this could have happened and what it means for future similar apps. Goodbye Houseparty: Why the App is Being Discontinued

What was Houseparty?

houseparty was an app that allowed you to stream your own video feed in a small room of your friends (hence its original name, RoomParty). Users could also add games and sound effects from their webcam or smartphone. The point was pretty simple: To connect people face-to-face in real time. In order to keep things interesting for users, however, there had to be something happening on screen at all times. As a result, it made sense for users to create short videos in which they could talk directly into their phones’ front cameras and send them off into these rooms filled with other people trying to do essentially the same thing.

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The End of Houseparty

Despite being one of the most popular apps in its space, by April 2019 houseparty was removed from app stores and had become a distant memory. The app was discontinued following 4 years of service. What went wrong? What could they have done differently? How can you avoid making similar mistakes with your startup company? In a series of case studies we examine why housesituation came to an end. We also analyse what lessons can be learned from their successes and failures; including when they started marketing, how they got investment and who bought them out.

Goodbye Houseparty: Why the App is Being Discontinued
Goodbye Houseparty: Why the App is Being Discontinued

What are My Options Now?

While Houseparty may be going away for good, there are still plenty of ways to video chat with friends and family. A quick search on YouTube or Google Play will yield plenty of alternatives. Many of these apps also have fun extra features like stickers or filters you can add to your video stream. Facebook Messenger and iMessage both offer group calling as well. And if you’re just looking for a way to use FaceTime video chat on multiple devices at once, that’s not gone either! You’ll need an Apple TV device for that though—no MacBooks or iPads allowed.

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Is There Any Hope for an Alternative?

While there’s no hope for an alternative to emerge in time to save Houseparty, it may be worth looking into alternatives to Skype that are used by your contacts and available on your phone. WhatsApp and iMessage both work well on iPhone (and Android). Both support group video calling as well as one-on-one calls. The main downside of WhatsApp is that people you know will have to download it too in order for you to message them with it (though some phones will now have a preinstalled version of WhatsApp) but with both options, you should still be able to talk with many of your friends through text messages and video calls.

Why Houseparty is discontinued?

Three years ago on April 10th, 2014, one of my favorite apps was introduced to me. The app was called Houseparty. The app basically allows you to connect with your friends through video chat and do silly things like lip sync songs or play games (like 20 questions). Over two million people downloaded it within its first two months. You can imagine how excited I was when I saw an advertisement for an app that I would be able to use with my friends after school! It got me even more excited when I saw some articles about it and learned that celebrities were using it too. Everyone in my grade wanted to try out these apps and now companies are starting to pay them money just so they can gain more publicity.

Goodbye Houseparty: Why the App is Being Discontinued
Goodbye Houseparty: Why the App is Being Discontinued

Is Houseparty shutting down for good?

For years, there has been rampant speculation that Snap Inc. would eventually shutter one of its properties. There’s nothing new about that; technology companies come and go all of the time. Usually though, when a company announces it will be shuttering a product or service, consumers get enough notice to make other plans. That’s not how things went down with Snap Inc.’s decision to shutter its popular chat app Houseparty on April 17th. Users were shocked and confused; they say they never saw it coming because they didn’t even know it was in trouble.

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Is Houseparty being deleted?

Rumors of Houseparty being deleted have been circling around social media after news that investors acquired group video chat startup. A well-known video chat app has reached its end of life. You can no longer download or use it to join a conversation with your friends, and if you happen to already be using it — you’re out of luck. On April 10th, 2018 Houseparty was made available for download on both iOS and Android devices.

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