Houseparty is over: video chat app that boomed in lockdown meets its end

Technology

The Guardian 10 September, 2021 - 12:08pm 4 views

Why is House Party shutting down?

Houseparty's shutting down because it's all about the metaverse now. ... "The team behind Houseparty is working on creating new ways to have meaningful and authentic social interactions at metaverse scale across the Epic Games family," reads the statement in part. MashableHouseparty's shutting down because it's all about the metaverse now

Is House Party shutting down?

Houseparty, the group video-chat app that grew popular during the Covid-19 pandemic, is shutting down in October, the company said Thursday. The app, acquired by “Fortnite” maker Epic Games Inc. in 2019, will be removed from app stores immediately, said Houseparty, formally known as Life on Air Inc. The Wall Street JournalEpic Games’ Houseparty App to Shut Down in October

First launched in 2016, the app was acquired by Epic in 2019 as part of a multi-million dollar deal.

In November 2020 it was integrated with Fortnite to let players see one another during multiplayer gaming sessions.

However, the developers said their work on other Epic Games products meant they could not give Houseparty "the attention that it deserves".

In a statement, the team said it would instead develop "new ways to have meaningful and authentic social interactions" in other Epic Games software.

While the app will continue to work until October, it has already been removed from the Google Play store and Apple's App Store.

Houseparty gained popularity at the start of the coronavirus pandemic as national lockdowns were introduced around the world.

The software let people "drop in" to video chat rooms hosted by friends, and it offered games for groups to play together.

However, its reputation was damaged in March 2020 when a false rumour suggested downloading the app could lead to Netflix and Spotify accounts being "hacked".

The BBC's cyber reporter Joe Tidy can now reveal that, at the time, a Houseparty insider told him the viral misinformation had made one million users delete the app.

For me this is a superb example of how misinfo can cause huge, real-world reputational damage to businesses. Hard to remember how big Houseparty was growing now but this viral misinfo hit the app HARD at a time when it was on a massive Zoom-like trajectory.

Houseparty said it had found no evidence that its service had been compromised.

The company later offered a $1m (£720,000) bounty to anybody who could prove it had been the target of a deliberate smear campaign. The reward has not been claimed.

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Read full article at The Guardian

Houseparty: Drop-in video chat app that boomed in lockdown to close in October

ITV News 12 September, 2021 - 10:30am

The platform, which let people "drop in" to video chat rooms hosted by friends, gained popularity as coronavirus curbs restricting in-person contact were first being introduced.

In November 2020, it was integrated with Fortnite, the smash-hit survival game, to allow players to see each other during multiplayer gaming sessions.

But right at its peak, rumours began circulating that Houseparty caused users’ other online accounts – including Netflix, eBay, Instagram and Spotify – to be hacked.

Owners Epic Games, which makes Fortnite, subsequently launched a $1m dollar bounty to anyone who could prove it was targeted by a smear campaign.

The firm has decided to withdraw the software from all app stores immediately, before closing fully in October to any remaining users who still have it installed.

In a statement, the company said their work on other Epic Games products meant they could not give Houseparty "the attention that it deserves".

“We do not take the decision to discontinue the app lightly,” Epic Games said.

“The team behind Houseparty is working on creating new ways to have meaningful and authentic social interactions at metaverse scale across the Epic Games family.”

Houseparty was acquired by Epic Games in 2019 and integrated with Fortnite in 2020.

Drop-in video chat app Houseparty to close in October

BreakingNews.ie 12 September, 2021 - 10:30am

Houseparty, a video chat app that rose to prominence when lockdowns were first imposed, is to close down.

The platform experienced a short spike in popularity for allowing people to virtually drop in to video chat rooms with friends.

But right at its peak Houseparty was hit by an unproven social media rumour that claimed the app caused users’ other online accounts – including Netflix, eBay, Instagram and Spotify – to be hacked.

Owners Epic Games, which makes Fortnite, consequently launched a one million dollar bounty to anyone who could prove it was targeted by a smear campaign.

— Houseparty (@houseparty) September 9, 2021

The firm has withdrawn the software from all app stores immediately, before closing fully in October to any remaining users who still have it installed.

Houseparty was acquired by Epic Games in 2019 and integrated with Fortnite in 2020.

The company said the decision was made as it could no longer “give the app or our community the attention that it deserves”.

“We do not take the decision to discontinue the app lightly,” Epic Games said.

“The team behind Houseparty is working on creating new ways to have meaningful and authentic social interactions at metaverse scale across the Epic Games family.”

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Fortnite Season 8: Release Date, Leaks, Theme And More

The Times Hub 11 September, 2021 - 07:37pm

There are already some Season 8 leaks regarding its theme, Battle Pass, map changes, and more. However, even though most of the leaks will most likely turn out to be true, it is important to note that some of them will not. Furthermore, some of the leaked features may not come at the start of the new season.

It will be interesting to see what Epic Games will do after an alien-themed season. Many players are expecting massive destruction of the in-game map during the event and because of that, many new places in Season 8. A pyramid landmark is one of the leaked places for Fortnite’s Season 8, which is something that has been shared by most popular leakers.

In addition to this, a Mummy skin may be released to the game as well. If this turns out to be true, we might get an ancient Egypt theme or something similar to that. Season 6 was about a primal theme followed by a futuristic theme in Season 7. However, Epic may decide to go back to the past again for the upcoming season.

Beside the pyramid, a crash site has also been leaked as a potential landmark. However, it also seems that Kevin the Cube will make its return to Fortnite. This cube played a major part in the Chapter 1 storyline and players are hoping that it will come back at some point.

According to Mang0e, a popular leaker, Kevin the Cube may change all the other landmarks in Season 8. This could be something similar to the cube movement back in Season 5 of Chapter 1.

Season 7 is ending on Sunday, September 12. However, Season 8 may not start immediately after it. While Epic Games has not revealed anything yet, we can expect a longer downtime after the event which will be used as a preparation for the new season.

Considering that the event is on Sunday and that most seasons start on Tuesday, there may be a downtime of at least 30 hours.

Chief Creative Officer at Epic Games Donald Mustard has revealed that the Naruto skin will be added to Fortnite Battle Royale. However, contrary to the popular belief, this character will not be included in the Season 8 Battle Pass. Considering that most Battle Passes have a collaboration skin, however, we can expect another popular character to come in the upcoming Battle Pass.

Many players are hoping that Foundation will return to the game as well. This character would be a perfect addition to the storyline as well as the next Battle Pass.

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