Most of the world is currently enduring quarantine, which means that many millions of people suddenly have a great deal of time on their hands. Some have engaged in online casino games for their entertainment, while others have been binge watching Netflix to a next level degree. Others still have been trying out the new app called Houseparty. Interestingly, the company that created it is owned by Epic Games, who you will know better as the company that launched Fortnite.
But no sooner had Houseparty been downloaded a few thousand times that allegations of hacking via the app suddenly began to appear across social media. Apparently the word is that the app, somehow, allowed mysterious individuals to hack user’s other accounts, including their Spotify and Netflix.
The developers countered these claims of hacking by declaring that there was a smear campaign being run against Houseparty, and that they would pay $1 million to anyone who could provide proof of such a campaign.
Is There Risk From The App?
An app that compromised a device and somehow granted access to other accounts is no small problem. In fact, if an app did somehow have this sort of security flaw, chances are it would be pulled from app stores immediately. But, after multiple security specialists analysed the product, they declared that there was no sign of any questionable software flaws.
Naturally, the developers came to the defence of their software, and were so indignant that they promptly announced that there was a smear campaign being run in order to harm the credibility of the product. Which mysterious force would want to harm the credibility of a virtually unknown app, you’re asking? What would any individual person, or corporate entity, benefit from running a smear campaign against an unknown app, you’re also asking? We don’t know, and the developers weren’t elaborating.
Regardless, the company quickly declared that they would pay $1 million for proof of a smear campaign. What would stand as proof of such a thing, you’re asking? They weren’t elaborating on that, either. Which is probably why they made the reward so large, since a person providing proof would first have to decipher the nature of said proof, before seeking it out. So, a lot of work involved.
If you read the above, and immediately concluded that there was something fishy about it all, you would be 100% right. It’s all rather silly, frankly.
At the end of the day the developers probably weren’t very upset about the whole situation. Virtually no one would have been talking about Houseparty, had a mysterious force with extremely difficult to understand motives decided to not run a smear campaign. Heck, one could even argue that their smear campaign inadvertently acted as viral marketing, granting Houseparty more publicity than doing any actual harm. After all, average downloads increased from around 25,000 to 650,000.
In fact, the mysterious, nasty person/corporation must be kicking themselves, now realising that they served only to publicise Houseparty. How it all backfired on them so unexpectedly.
But seriously; it’s obviously just viral marketing.
What Is Houseparty?
So, with all that being said, what exactly is Houseparty? It’s a face to face social network, or in real terms, a group video chat app. It allows multiple users to log into a group, and converse with one another via video feed. Not exactly revolutionary, but a fun little app none the less.
Interestingly enough, Houseparty isn’t new. It’s been out for a while, though only now has been getting any attention at all, due to the marketing push.
Because you’re thinking it, yes, it is a very useful app to have right now, given the COVID-19 quarantines going on around the world, keeping friends and family apart. A group video chat is exactly the answer that many have been looking for. Houseparty offers a pleasant, group video chat alternative to meeting in person, and really will go a long way to beating cabin fever.
In conclusion, is Houseparty hacking devices? No. There is literally no proof of this. Is it a great app in a quarantine? Yes, it really is. Check it out if you want.
Are you going to get $1 million for proof of a smear campaign? Sure. Good luck trying.