Houseparty is a new live video app, reportedly launched by the creators of Meerkat. Houseparty is a new live video app, reportedly launched by the creators of Meerkat. Houseparty is a new live video app, reportedly launched by the creators of Meerkat. (Photo: Houseparty)

Turn your phone into a Houseparty

The creators of Meerkat are back with a live video chat service that's as easy as the push of a button.

The makers of Meerkat, the groundbreaking livestreaming service that took the South by Southwest Festival by storm last year, have returned. They've launched a simplified live video app called Houseparty.

Meerkat's founder, Israeli tech entrepreneur Ben Rubin, is keeping mum on whether he's actually behind the new app, but the techverse has spoken in his stead. Tech outlet Recode confirmed with its own sources that Meerkat and Houseparty are, indeed, connected. Rubin has made his intentions clear: now that Twitter and Facebook have cornered the livestream market, he was going to pivot to live group chats, and that's exactly what he's done with Houseparty.

Meerkat founder Ben Rubin and team have made the live streaming service available to Facebook users.Founder Ben Rubin launched Meerkat last year at SXSW to great fanfare. (Photo: The DEMO Conference/Flickr)

So how does it work? Very, very simply. You just launch the app, pick the folks you want to chat with and – voila! – you're connected. Its simplicity is what sets Houseparty apart from other existing video chat apps like Facetime, Google Hangouts and Skype – no bells and whistles, no clumsy setup, no need to wait for the other person to respond to a text or email invitation – it's all instantaneous.

It's not clear why Rubin is choosing to keep Houseparty's origins shrouded in mystery, but so far it seems like an effective strategy; more than 100,000 users have already joined the Party, with more sure to come once the app's clandestine developers work out a few bugs.

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Turn your phone into a Houseparty
The creators of Meerkat launched Houseparty, a live video service that's as easy as the push of a button.