50 million people have signed up to video-chatting app Houseparty in the last month alone, according to its CEO Sima Sistani, speaking in an interview with Bloomberg.

The app is riding the same stay-at-home wave as Zoom (which has grown from 10 million daily active users at the end of 2019 to more than 200 million now) during the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the piece, these two apps were the most downloaded of all apps over the Easter weekend.

Houseparty’s sudden rise comes with an interesting backstory: it’s the successor to one of the first livestreaming video apps to make a splash, Meerkat, which was hot in 2015, but quickly faded and was shut down in October 2016. That was partly because its creators had already launched Houseparty, with its emphasis on people having private video chats with friends and family rather than broadcasting to the world. Fast forward to June 2019, and Houseparty was acquired by Epic Games, the gaming company whose business includes the monster hit Fortnite. Gaming is part of Houseparty: simple multiplayer games like trivia quizzes and Pictionary-style drawing challenges.

We think it’s worth keeping an eye on for its music potential though: could features like co-listening to music streams be a useful addition to Houseparty in the future?

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