WhatsApp vs Houseparty: Better Video Calling App for Friends

by Gaurav Bidasaria

While WhatsApp is pretty popular, Houseparty has changed the rules of the game. It allows not only video calling but also playing old-but-gold fun games. This post will look at how these two video calling apps compare, what they each have to offer and which should you use.

Also Read: 10+ Games to Play on Zoom Group Calls

WhatsApp vs Houseparty

1. User Interface

WhatsApp follows the tried and tested format here, one that I believe it came up with originally. A list of all your recently individual and group chats in the first tab. You can update your status or view your contact’s status in the Status tab, and manage or make calls under the Calls tab. You will find a button at the bottom for initiating a message or call depending on which tab you have selected.

whatsapp interface

Houseparty comes with a fresh take on the UI. The Smiley icon is where you can add friends who already have Houseparty installed. Tap the circular button to create a room and invite friends to the party. The dice icon is for games. The ‘+’ icon is for adding friends from Facebook, Snapchat, or phone contacts. Finally, you can disable the mic/camera or lock the room through the bottom bar.

houseparty interface

Also Read: How to Change Fonts in WhatsApp Chats

2. Chatting and Calling

On WhatsApp, you can either tap one of the recent chat entries or search for a particular contact or group using the search bar. More often than not, scrolling through the recent list of entries is enough to find whom you want to connect with. Tap on the chat button at the bottom of the screen to either search for a contact or create a new group or add a new contact.

whatsapp chat groups

Similarly, you can go to the Calls tab to choose a contact you want to call. Note that you can only make an audio call from there. You need to open the contact chat window in order to make a video call or send a message of course. That can be done either from the Calls or Chat tab.

whats chat and call options

Houseparty is strictly a video calling app. There is no option to chat or send messages or anything else for that matter. It was purpose-built for video calling and playing games. And it was designed for group video calling, not one-to-one calls. Once you have added your friends, you will create a room and invite everyone whos online to that room. There is an option to lock the room once everyone is in. That’s so that no one else can sneak in later. Yup, that’s a feature we will discuss later.

houseparty gaming options

There are only four games available right now but they are insanely fun and timeless games. Houseparty also likes to share small but interesting one line trivia and facts every time you open the home screen.

Once everyone has joined the room, you will see their faces on the screen. Decide what you want to do and let the games begin. This is where WhatsApp and Houseparty truly differ. You can’t play games in WhatsApp and can’t chat or send text messages in Houseparty.

Also Read: WhatsApp vs Telegram, Which One to Choose?

3. Files, Payments, and Whatnot

Most messenger apps allow users to send not just text messages but also files. WhatsApp is no different and though it entered the game late, it quickly caught on. Tap on the attachment icon below and you will see more options. You can take a new photo or attach one from the gallery, record and send audio notes, and even files. Note that WhatsApp can only open images, videos, and audio natively. All other file types will open in a third-party app.

whatsapp attachment options

You can also share contact details or even your present location using GPS. Tapping on the icon will open it in Google Map or your favorite map app. There is an option to share live location which will keep the other person updated in real-time. Finally, depending on where you live, you might see an option to make payments too. It is not available in all countries and for all users yet. Furthermore, WhatsApp should be using the same mobile number that you have used in your bank accounts. A must for verification.

whatsapp payments

4. Chat and Call Limits

At the time of writing this post, you can’t call more than 3 other people from your WhatsApp account. That means no more than 4 people can video call each other. Recent reports suggest that that number Is going to be increased to 8 by Facebook, WhatsApp’s parent company. Houseparty already supports up to 8 participants in its video call. I hope they will increase the limit to 12 so that more people could join in the fun.

5. Pricing and Platforms

Both the apps are absolutely free but then again, you know what they say about free services. If there is no product to sell, you are the product. Facebook is already infamous for taking user data for granted, Houseparty might turn out to be different. Only time will tell. WhatsApp has an app for both Android and iOS with a web version that works in any browser. Houseparty also offers mobile apps with browser support which I recommend more. That’s because you need more space to not only see the participants but also the play the game in question. Apart from this, Houseparty also has a macOS app and Chrome extension.

WhatsApp vs Houseparty

Even though, fundamentally, both are video calling apps, there are a lot of differences under the hood. One is not the answer for the other but rather, they can and will co-exist on most smartphones. WhatsApp is still a better solution to catch up, even when you are just video calling. Houseparty was purpose-built for social video calling where you can also play games with your friends. If you want to play, use Houseparty, otherwise stick with WhatsApp for just chatting and calling.

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