Review date: 04/23/2020
Houseparty seems to be where all the cool kids have flocked recently, with it becoming one of the most downloaded video call apps since the pandemic started. Owned by Epic Games, maker of the popular video game Fortnite, this isn't a work-from-home video call app. Houseparty is designed for hanging out with friends, playing games built into the app, and integrating with Snapchat. The app lets you have up to eight people in a video call room at once and users can have as many rooms open as they like. And just like at a regular houseparty, you can float from room to room easily. You can even "sneak" into Houseparty without your contacts knowing. The Houseparty app works on Android, iOS, Mac, and in Google Chrome (what, no Firefox support?!).
What could happen if something goes wrong
What is required to sign up?
Third party account
Registration to Houseparty requires giving them your name, email address, birth date. Houseparty asks for your phone number but no longer requires it. Be warned, Houseparty makes it very difficult to see the option to skip giving them your phone. Make sure you look closely for the "skip" button to avoid giving them your phone number.
What data does it collect?
How does it use this data?
How are your recordings handled?
Alerts when calls are being recorded?
Video calls can't be recorded within Houseparty
Does the platform say it is compliant with US medical privacy laws?
Houseparty is not HIPAA compliant
Links to privacy information
Can I control it?
Is it easy to learn and use the features?
Houseparty does have a FAQ page on its website to help with some basic questions but our researcher found it to be rather simplistic. Houseparty also leans into a lot of gesture-based navigation that may be more familiar to younger users familiar with Snapchat but harder for older users not used to such navigation to learn and master.
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Houeparty uses encryption. It does not use end-to-end encryption.
Password requirement is a minimum of 5 characters and the weak password of '12345' was accepted.
Houseparty pushes regular updates to its mobile apps.
Houseparty does have a bug bounty program.