Houseparty Hacks To Test Out When Virtual Happy Hours Get Old

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Millennials and Gen Zs are getting really innovative when it comes to how they communicate while self-isolating during the coronavirus outbreak, and video group chat apps like Houseparty definitely help. Houseparty takes regular video calls (which can get tedious night after night) and turns them into an opportunity to do small activities with your friends when you can't meet up with them in person. If it's been a while since you and your best friends have all hung out, you can join in on the fun too with some Houseparty app hacks.

While the app's been out since 2016, 2 million people downloaded it in the week of March 15 alone after social distancing practices set in. Houseparty essentially allows you to video chat, play games, and take fun quizzes with friends who can't all be in the same room together. The games include Heads Up! (where friends have to help you guess which randomized noun you're given), Pictionary, and trivia quizzes like Finish the Song Lyric and General Knowledge. And considering that scientists and researchers are unsure of how long social distancing might have to last, it's good to have options that let you do more than just talk with friends through a screen.

1. Connect Your Phone Contacts To Party With Friends

If you want to start using Houseparty with your family and friends, you can use your phone contacts to see who has an account and who doesn't. This can be done as soon as you're prompted to sign in. Once you do this, you can allow the app permission to sync your contacts. This way, you'll have a clear list of who already has an account that you can start a Houseparty with. And for those who don't have accounts, you can use their contacts to send them invitation links to download the app for themselves and start a party with you.

2. Log In With Your Snapchat To Use Your Bitmoji

If you want to use your Bitmoji as your default picture for your Houseparty friends to see, it's super simple. When you're prompted to log into your account, instead of logging in with your phone, log in with your Snapchat account instead. This will not only transfer over your Snapchat contacts, but it'll also automatically set your already-created Bitmoji as your account's icon.

3. Invite More Friends, Even In The Middle Of Games

Sometimes when you're in the middle of an exhilarating round of Heads Up! with friends, you realize that your neighbor would really love to get in on a game. Well, you don't have to wait til the game's over to invite them in. Simply by tapping the plus sign at the top right of your screen, you can search for a friend and then hit "Invite to the Room" so that they can join. You can keep doing this up until your Houseparty has eight people.

4. Lock The Room

If you're happy with the amount of people who have already joined your Houseparty, you can cap it at that amount. There is an icon of an open lock at the bottom, middle of your screen once you're in the middle of a Houseparty. By tapping on this icon, it'll turn into a closed lock. This means no member of the Houseparty can add anyone else to the room.

5. Send Facemail To Friends

If you're in a chat with friends and want to send another offline friend a little reminder that you're thinking of them or want them to join your Houseparty later, you can do this using the app's Facemail feature. When you're in the middle of a live chat, there should be three horizontal dots that represent a menu in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen. Tapping on this will show you the option to Record Facemail. From there, record your Houseparty and send the video to a friend. Your room guests will also get a notification that you're recording, so everyone can join in on an inviting message. After you record your message and send it, your friend will get it whenever they log onto Houseparty.

While you might miss the closeness of a real house party, the Houseparty app is a great alternative for the indefinite future. Plus, you might get really good at Heads Up!