Houseparty App Review For Parents of Teens (Is It Safe?)

, you're logged in!
March 25, 2020

Become a member or log in to view this course

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.

What is the Houseparty app?

  • Houseparty is a video chat app that mimics an actual house party where users can move from “room” to “room” video chatting with others
  • Users can chat with 2-8 people at the same time
  • They can also text friends and play games together on the app
  • Houseparty encourages users to have frequent, candid conversations with their family, friends, and friends of friends
  • The app creates a live, always-on place that you can dip in and out of whenever you want

Why should parents care?

  • All chats are unmoderated, which means students can come in contact with inappropriate behavior or cyberbullies 
  • Friends of friends can enter a chat, so students could be exposed to strangers
  • The app does notify users when a stranger enters the room - so they can choose to leave or stay
  • Users can screenshot their video or text chats and post that private content to social media
  • Teens can use this app for sexting and other inappropriate behaviors

Login or join the VIP membership today to view all resources about the Houseparty app!

Become a member or log in to view this course

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.

Quotation marks

This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

StarStarStarStarStar

Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

Quotation marks

Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

StarStarStarStarStar

Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

Quotation marks

This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

StarStarStarStarStar

Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
This app is not safe for students to use unsupervised, but a Green Zone app can serve a positive purpose to help a student to navigate social media and someday build an online brand. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Green Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Gray Zone apps often contain lots of private & disappearing messages, and strangers can use this to chat with students. Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe. This zone can be a great place for family time since many of these apps can be entertaining, and let your students express themselves. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Gray Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone.
Red Zone apps often have lots of anonymous features, adult content, and easy contact with strangers. Supervision is strongly suggested on each of these apps or move your kids to a safer zone. All apps require parental supervision, these apps more than others. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Red Zone or view our list of 100+ Apps to find a safer app with your student.
Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ app reviews at SmartSocial.com

This trend is categorized as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge.
Viral challenges encourage students to do dangerous things to garner likes, views, attention, and subscribers. These challenges can be found across several social networks and may encourage students to perform dangerous activities. SmartSocial.com keeps parents updated on these social media challenges before an incident may occur in your community.

Table of Contents

The Houseparty app lets users have group chats and play games with friends without leaving the house.  The social network launched in 2016, but is more popular now than ever during the pandemic. Houseparty was downloaded more than two million times in just one week of March 2020, according to App Annie. But is it safe for students?

The SmartSocial.com Team created this app guide to let parents and educators know how Houseparty works and the stranger dangers that lurk on the app.

What is the Houseparty app?

Houseparty app screen shot: "Connect with your friends and their friends, too."
  • Houseparty is a video chat app that mimics an actual house party where users can move from “room” to “room” video chatting with others
  • Users can chat with 2-8 people at the same time
  • They can also text friends and play games together on the app
  • Houseparty encourages users to have frequent, candid conversations with their family, friends, and friends of friends
  • The app creates a live, always-on place that you can dip in and out of whenever you want

How does Houseparty work?

  • The app asks for your phone number and permission to access your camera, mic, location, phone contacts, and social media contacts
  • You can tap a little hand-waving emoji to say hi, and a phone-call emoji to video call
  • You can tap the dice icon to play games or trivia during chats 
  • The app notifies your friends each time you log in
  • Users are notified if a friend of a friend enters a chat
  • You can tap the lock icon to make the chat private and prevent anyone else from entering the room

Where is Houseparty available?

Houseparty app in the news

Financial Times: "How the viral app Houseparty is entertaining a generation in lockdown. Video chat app that allows spontaneous gatherings is replacing social life for millions stuck indoors
'Houseparty has a big base around teenagers and always has… [But] with everything that’s going on, a bunch of adults now have the time and need for new connections,' [said Ben Rubin, Houseparty’s co-founder.] Financial Times
“The group video chat is the perfect app for Generation Z to continue their disconnect with physical reality.” Forbes
“Because there's no screening and the video is live, there's always the possibility of inappropriate content for children.” Common Sense Media

Why should parents care?

Hosueparty screen shot: Share your screen with your friends.
  • All chats are unmoderated, which means students can come in contact with inappropriate behavior or cyberbullies 
  • Friends of friends can enter a chat, so students could be exposed to strangers
  • The app does notify users when a stranger enters the room - so they can choose to leave or stay
  • Users can screenshot their video or text chats and post that private content to social media
  • Teens can use this app for sexting and other inappropriate behaviors

What can parents do?

  • Review the features of the app with your student. If you decide Houseparty is okay for your teen, then:
  • Tell them not to share their location on the app
  • Encourage them to exit the chat if a stranger enters the conversation
  • Teach them to keep their chats in private mode by using the lock icon
  • Remind students to ask themselves “How would I feel if this conversation was shown publicly to my peers, neighbors, or to my relatives?” before texting or saying something in a group chat…. even if they think the chat is private

Conclusion

Houseparty offers older students a fun way to socialize. But parents should take note of the risk factors before deciding if it’s a good app for younger students to use. You can read about other chat apps on the Smart Social App Zones page.


, can you give us some feedback about this lesson?

Logged in and still not seeing content? This course may not be part of your membership plan. Click here to join.

Share Your Thoughts With Our Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

We Release VIP Content Each Month:

Some content is free, others require a VIP membership

Become a Very Informed Parent (VIP) to get our social media suggestions in your email every Tuesday & Thursday.
Dotted arrow to right
Learn about our
"Very Informed Parent" 
VIP Program
Right arrow
Josh Ochs headshot Round
Schools & Districts: Partner with us to protect your community online

Our remote presentations (and website) teaches over a million students each year how to shine online. We teach students how their accounts can be used to create a portfolio of positive accomplishments that impress colleges and employers.

Partner with SmartSocial.com
Right arrow
SmartSocial podcast logo
Join Our Smart Social Podcast each week on iTunes

With over 240 episodes, Josh Ochs interviews psychologists, therapists, counselors, teachers, and parents while showing you how to navigate social media to someday shine online.

Listen on:

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Youtube
Spotify

Here are some of the latest resources at SmartSocial.com:

Houseparty App Review For Parents of Teens (Is It Safe?)

Fill out this form to receive free tips each week

Note: Many of our 400+ resources now require a low-cost membership to help us deliver great research and expert safety guides. Become a member today, login here, or have your district request a partnership to make these resources free for your community.