A few months ago, we wrote about how Fortnite was turning into the next big social network. It seems we weren’t the only ones who thought so.
Yesterday, social video app Houseparty announced that it is getting acquired behind Epic Games, aka the creator of Fortnite.
It’s a natural fit. While Fortnite continued to become socially oriented, Houseparty has recently begun to move into gaming with integrated games and screen sharing. In fact, Fortnite players are already using Houseparty as they game. 🙌
A brief history of Houseparty: If you recall, Houseparty was initially built in secret by the makers of Meerkat in 2015. In 2016, Houseparty debuted on Product Hunt. An initial message from Houseparty founder Ben Rubin:
“On the surface it’s like a super fast and simple 'group facetime' while also becoming the foundation for an elaborate virtual space where people can hang with friends when they are physically apart. Face-to-face conversations over the internet are way too formal right now. We wanted lightweight way for us to see our friends everyday, no setup required. In a funny way, this is always the experience we wanted to give our users on Meerkat.“
Some reactions from the community:
“It's great, simple and FUN! See y'all on the party line in the cloud” - Tarikh
“Been using Houseparty for the last few weeks and it's a lot of fun. Love the simplicity of opening the app and instantly being thrown into a group video chat with friends.” - Jack
“I've been a user of House Party for a few months now, and the thing that has struck me about it is how serendipitous it is. I've had catchup conversations with my friends randomly because of a push notification, and I've made a few new friends. That's powerful.” - Ben
Shortly after Houseparty's rise to 1M DAUs, Facebook quickly followed with the now dead Bonfire app. Apple’s Facetime with groups and Facebook Messenger’s video chat also definitely took inspiration from Houseparty.
Financial details on the deal weren’t disclosed, but Houseparty preemptively answered your “so what’s next” questions in a blog post. What you need to know:
- No immediate changes will be coming to Houseparty.
- Your Houseparty friendships will remain the same.
- Your Houseparty account will remain separate from your Epic Games account if you have both (and your data won’t be shared between them).
Have you joined the party yet? 👋
Pretty cool. This robot will teach your kids how to code. 🤖
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