How the Houseparty app has become UK's platform to socialise?

WION Web Team London, England Apr 01, 2020, 04.57 PM(IST)

Logo of Houseparty app Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

At least four serving British cabinet ministers are on the app, including health secretary Matt Hancock, currently self-isolating with coronavirus.

The popularity of video conferencing app Houseparty has skyrocketed in United Kingdom due to the lockdown imposed in the country.

From the British royals to the ministers or even Boy George, the app has become the nation's most popular isolation choice.

Also read: After hacking rumour, Houseparty app offers $1 million reward as evidence for sabotage

As a result the service, which allows up to eight people to share the same chat and hop uninvited between mutual friends’ conversations, has been transformed in the space of a few weeks into a venue where the public stand a chance of inadvertently bumping into notable figures.

At least four serving British cabinet ministers are on the app, including health secretary Matt Hancock, currently self-isolating with coronavirus.

Also read: Quarantine Together: New dating app links you to new people, but only if you wash hands!

Keir Starmer, the frontrunner to become the next Labour leader this weekend, has also been spotted on the service, along with many Labour frontbenchers.

Users also found Culture Club frontman Boy George using the app to combat virus blues.

Downloads of the application rose from an average of 130,000 in mid-February to 2 million a week in the middle of March, according to Apptopia.

Also read: Social distancing appears to have slowed coronavirus spread, says study

The app has been around for about four years but was picked up last year by Epic Games, the company behind the popular video game Fortnite.

Online rumours had emerged on Monday that the Spotify, Netflix and even bank accounts accounts of customers got hacked after downloading the application. 

However, the app's owner announced a reward of $1 million for providing a proof regarding its involvement in a commercial smear campaign.

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