Houseparty App: the Story of Success

House Party App

Few people know that the Houseparty startup is a result of another project’s fail since its developers have been hiding the name of a company behind it for a long time. But the top managers found a way to correct their previous mistakes and reincarnate the project. How did this party planner app succeed among numerous video messenger apps and teen video chats?

With the growth of the speed of data transferring through mobile devices, video becomes an important part of all apps which imply communication including remote party apps. According to Statista, the global mobile video traffic will grow from over 7.2 million terabytes (TB) per month in 2017 to more than 26 million TB in 2020. Since the market is overfull with video messengers, it seems very hard to capture users’ attention with something new. However, Houseparty has found its own niche that still attracts numerous users. Though, at first, we will describe the point where the whole history of this startup begins.

The History of Houseparty

In fact, Houseparty first used to be Meerkat, a live video streaming service. According to Statista forecasts, the global revenue from video subscriptions constantly grows and will reach $10.36 billion in 2020 compared with $2.4 billion in 2011. Furthermore, 58% of consumers within the U.S. had some video streaming subscription in 2017 compared to 51% in 2016. It might sound like a good sign to start a business in the niche. There was no sign of troubles.

But later, the startup faced huge problems and it was too hard to compete with the leading social networks offering almost the same opportunities. In addition, a report published by eMarketer found that only 20% of U.S. Internet users considered trying live streaming in 2015.

Ben Rubin, Meerkat CEO, said that his service could easily get many users ready to watch video streams and, as of 2015, the Meerkat was still growing. Although, the real problem was in attracting those who would broadcast video with any consistency. According to unauthorized sources, the total number of Meerkat broadcasters was about 100,000. Unfortunately, the number never grew regardless new features implemented in the service. One of them was the integration with the GoPro camera. The feature implied connecting a GoPro to a mobile device based on iOS and shaking it to launch a stream from this device.

Another promising feature was embeddable live streams. Enjoyers could choose a size for their video, upload a cover image, and disable comments on the embeddable player. In case users published the player before a stream was live, it either showed the information about their next scheduled stream or some useful statistics when they didn’t have a stream scheduled. Newcomers who had no streams yet, saw only the basic profile information.

Meerkat even partnered with the Discovery Channel to help in promotion of a new embed feature — but it didn’t help anyway. Then Ben Rubin realized that the project needed pivoting. This was where Houseparty was born.

What is Houseparty?


Houseparty is a video messaging app, like FaceTime or Skype. Though, it has its own special characteristics. The mobile app enables members to communicate with their friends in a form of live video chats. On the other side, users can also connect their favorite brands to promote their remote house parties. Through the mobile app, House Party’s digital platform allows brands to drive their relevant content and deliver it to their target audience in a new engaging way. The app is now available for both Android and iOS-based devices.

How Houseparty works

Houseparty is an easy-to-use mobile online party planner app for those who are already familiar with using video chats. When users first download and install the app, they will see the screen asking them to register. The whole sign up process takes a few minutes. Then the online party finder app proposes you to pick a username. When login details are set up, the app asks to enter the phone number. The operation helps to find friends in the app quickly.

To see who is online, just swipe down from the top of the smartphone screen. You are also able to see the information about the last teen video chat, such as time and date. To inform friends about readiness and willingness to chat, just click the hand waving emoji.

The main working principle is the following: when opening the app, you automatically become available for video chat. Your friends can join the chat, or you join the existing chat created by one of the friends. If they are chatting with someone else, you may check who their interlocutor is and join the chat. Therefore, you can video chat with any of friends who says ‘hi’. During chats, the screen is split up so that you see your friends and yourself as well.

Houseparty’s success features

video messenger front screen

One of the reasons for the Houseparty’s success is developing an effective business model. Ben Rubin came up with an idea to enable brands to get a relatively cheap word-of-mouth advertising by encouraging people to gather together in real life for some branded gifts. These real parties spark conversations about the gifts delivered by the brand and, potentially, turn party members into real customers.

With Houseparty app, enjoyers interact with brands in real-time while having fun. Within Houseparty brand campaigns, participants can:

  • Jump between any campaign content streams and interact with them.
  • Upload various media content, such as photo and video, to campaigns.
  • Create branded content, generate product reviews, etc.
  • Share their branded content and recommendations via social networks.
  • Communicate with other campaign participants regarding party ideas or brands involved.
  • Configure their party pages, invite other people and send them party updates.
  • Find new campaigns.
  • Lock the chat rooms to prevent anyone else from joining the conversation.

To organize a branded party, contenders are to apply online, enter the type of their event, and promote it by telling their friends about it. Once approved for a house party, participants receive products from brands ready to sponsor the event. These products include food, toys, health or beauty products, etc.

Final thoughts

In comparison with the previous project by Ben Rubin, Houseparty had a huge success. In less than a year, the mobile online party planner app got more than 1 million users. According to Sima Sistani, a co-founder at Houseparty, the project is mostly focused on Generation Z: 60% of its users are 16 to 24 years old. That’s why it is important for any startup to focus on the exact target audience in order to capture a niche instead of trying to take all.

The Houseparty app significantly changes modern phone communication principles. Sometimes, calling people on the phone may feel like the invasion into their personal environment. With Houseparty, it is within users’ control when people can contact them.

Startup ideas often are unobvious and lay beneath our usual environment interpretation. So, if you have a great idea for a successful startup, we will be more than happy to help you turn it into reality. Contact our software development team and build your startup!