Parent reviews for Houseparty - Group Video Chat

Common Sense says

Virtual video hangouts have potential pitfalls.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 29 reviews
Adult Written byJDawn8 April 25, 2019

Not for young children!

I am not a parent, but a 5th grade teacher. I have seen multiple serious issues arise because of this app. In my experience children use this app to say things they know they shouldn’t because they think it’s “private” and only their friends in the group will know. I have seen students use the app to send explicit content to each other to hide it from their parents. Just be careful if you allow your child to use this app. And just because your child is trustworthy or responsible doesn’t mean the other children they are talking with will be, because anyone in the group can add anyone else your child may be speaking to someone they don’t know via a friend.

This title contains:

Language
Privacy & Safety
Parent Written bysuperheromom April 27, 2019

Anxiety builder, potential as a tool for bullying, sexual content

This app is an anxiety builder. You need to be invited to the group to chat and many times the group excludes a frequent member to talk about the person they excluded. This is done frequently and many Times intently generating self-doubt and a lot of anxiety. The ones who are not invited to the party know or at least fear that they’re not included because the group is talking about them. That fear of missing out, in the adolescent mind, multiplies in infinite branches, causing a lot of social anxiety, distorted body image, a need to be connected all the time otherwise you’ll be the target of the gossip (if you’re not invited to the chat, you’re the one who is the target of gossip in the party room. That is hypnotizing. The addiction potential to the screen increases exponentially with the adrenaline and the teen hormones. I do not recommend this app at all. It’s a disgrace. Yes, there is always a potential for the good. But you can be sure that this not how it’s been used.

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Privacy & Safety
Parent Written byChristi F. April 22, 2018

DRAMA

As a mother of middle school girls I belive this app should be limited to a more mature audience. This app gave these girls that are going through changes that cause them to be impulsive and not always kind a platform to throw verbal punches at each other. I have a policy of "parent approval" for any and all apps but as you all know there are the occasional app downloaded without permission and we had one of those with this app. It caused problems that have resulted in the school's involvement. It is very ugly. Middle school kids are not ready for this.
Parent Written byMumof5 February 26, 2018

Only for kids you can trust

I think the main thing parents need to know is that kids can send notes on this app. My daughter’s friend uses apps to message her friends because her mom checks her texts and emails, but she doesn’t think to check her apps. You definitely need to trust your child if you allow them to get this.
Adult Written bySuzan i. January 19, 2018

House party

I have a twelve year old daughter who is eager to have many social media’s, which for her age shouldn’t be her priority. But as a mother I try to meet half way for things, they are coming to an age where they think everything is unfair or we are being to fare, but honestly they are just to preusious for us to risk. Any ways my daughter came back from camp asking if she could get house party, I didn’t really know about it at the time and asked her what it was about. She explained its like face time but you can FaceTime more than one person that you have in your contacts. I decided to look into it a little more. It seemed alright so I got it on my phone and my husband did too, we were able to FaceTime and invite people from only our contacts. I was actully very impressed with how secure it is and how I don’t have to worry about my daughter talking to strangers. So I aloud her to get it and she promised that she would be responsible. Then the next day she asked for Snapchat, which she knows that I refuse to let her get. So just adding a fun little bonus, DO NOT LET YOUR KIDS GET SNAPCHAT AT ALL!!! There are catfishers our there, people who sent nudes. And cyber bullying. It’s a parents worst dream... Instagram is safe. As long as you have a private account. I made sure that my daughter would understand that posting her face is a no-no. So I got an account on there and she kept her word. So please be fore getting your child a social media check all the reviews bad and good to know what your getting your child and yourself into. Thanks! Hope you all have the best of best days!!!
Adult Written byMatthew595 November 21, 2018

It’s not social media

It’s just FaceTime with multiple people
Adult Written bypeelibhit September 14, 2021

jake ma

I am not a parent, but a 5th grade teacher.
CUSTOMER(SERVICE)(PHONE)(NUMBER)+1*8O5*6O8*54O6**
CUSTOMER(SERVICE)(PHONE)(NUMBER)+1*8O5*6O8*54O6**

I have seen multiple serious issues arise because of this app. In my experience children use this app to say things they know they shouldn’t because they think it’s “private” and only their friends in the group will know. I have seen students use the app to send explicit content to each other to hide it from their parents. Just be careful if you allow your child to use this app. And just because your child is trustworthy or responsible doesn’t mean the other children they are talking with will be, because anyone in the group can add anyone else your child may be speaking to someone they don’t know via a friend.I am not a parent, but a 5th grade teacher. I have seen multiple serious issues arise because of this app. In my experience children use this app to say things they know they shouldn’t because they think it’s “private” and only their friends in the group will know. I have seen students use the app to send explicit content to each other to hide it from their parents. Just be careful if you allow your child to use this app. And just because your child is trustworthy or responsible doesn’t mean the other children they are talking with will be, because anyone in the group can add anyone else your child may be speaking to someone they don’t know via a friend.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byJoshgordan765 May 28, 2020

It is fine for ages 12+

This app is only as inappropriate as you make it. If your child’s friend is inappropriate then it will be inappropriate. The app is just like a FaceTime with multiple people

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Adult Written byparent_101 April 23, 2020

Awesome

This is a really good app for people. especially during this whole virus thing. It's a good way to keep in touch with your friends. It's definitely not social media. You can text on it but you can't delete the text. so if you want to see what your kids are texting people you can, unlike Snapchat or Instagram, etc. It works better then zoom and facetime.
Adult Written byRyleeglen1 April 1, 2020

AWFUL

App doesn’t even work properly!!!!
First few days selfie camera would not come on at all.
So I reset my phone now the app won’t come on at all tried everything still won’t work!!!!
Emailed them for support numerous times and no reply!!!!
Adult Written byGlenna.Douglas April 1, 2020

Great app, great connections

I believe this app is great for meaningful connections. My son has been using since he was ten and has strengthened so many connections. My family is a huge fan of this app!
Adult Written bymadd123456 October 28, 2018

This is amazing

I got this app for my 9 year old daughter. You can easily chat with many other people vs facetime you can only chat with one person. This is completely safe for kids.

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Parent Written byConnie T. December 8, 2016

Love and peace

Awesome

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Adult Written byJoseph N July 3, 2020

Amazing

All you do is FaceTime it is not like Snapchat where u can go to discover search up stuff all I do is FaceTime with friends. Everyone should be able to use this app.
Adult Written byAW111 November 23, 2019
Download this app if your child is responsible.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byMicheleyr September 11, 2019

Great Communication Tool If Used Responsibly

The House Party App on the surface is another live streaming service like Facetime or Skype, however, House Party allows users to video chat and text with up to 8 people at once. After spending a few days playing with the application, I was able to get a feel for why adolescents would enjoy using this tool to communicate with friends as well as how it can be detrimental to a teens psychological and emotional health. Which is why I would give this application an average rating of 3.5/5. According to an article titled, Adolescent social media use and mental health from adolescent and parent perspectives, social media provides an easy platform for adolescents to connect and identify with likeminded peers, but can also put them at risk for feeling left out or victimized by their peers and lead to significant mental health challenges (Barry, Sidoti, Briggs, Reiter, & Lindsey, 2017). This application sets adolescents up for both positive and negative experiences based on how group video chats are formed. In order to join a group, a person must be invited by a friend that either has their phone number saved in their contact list or through an existing connection on Facebook. This invitation only feature has the potential to exclude anyone they do not want to be a part of their group. In turn, this can cause extreme anxiety and paranoia if an adolescent is aware of an existing group formed by their peers that they are not included in. This can lead to insecurity, depression, self-doubt and an overall decline in emotional health. Also, there is a text feature, where adolescents can send messages and content to their group as another form of communication. Hiding content and conversations from parents is easy to do and gossiping about peers can become significant.

As many adults know, middle school and high school is a very vulnerable time, social status and engagement are crucial for survival, and adolescents tend to act on their emotions instead of using logic. However, some of this problematic behavior can be avoided with the help of parents. The adolescent article insinuates that if parent and child have a closer relationship, where the parent can monitor social media activity, the potential for these emotional issues decreases (Barry et al., 2017). Unfortunately, House Party does not have parental controls, which makes it difficult for parents to supervise the way their children are interacting on the app. However, House Party’s main website page does have extensive information about security that can help parents navigate ways to protect their children's privacy and personal information. For example, there are instructions on how to turn off location as well as how to opt-out of data usage.

In short, House Party is another communication tool that allows users to interact on a fun, live platform with their friends. They can video chat, text, and play games with the groups they form. It is tailored to adolescents, 13 years or older but can also be used as a communication tool for families to engage and stay in touch. The downside is lack of parental controls, the emotional harm is can cause adolescents who are excluded or victimized by the app, and the obvious dangers that come from using a live streaming service. However, if parents are attentive with their child's use of the application, then it can be a fun way for adolescents to socially engage with their peers.

This title contains:

Privacy & Safety
Adult Written byYeed September 4, 2019

Only Call the kids/adults/teens you trust

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking