Thanks to FaceTime, my kids are able to chat face-to-face with our relatives and friends around the country — something this mom is really thankful for. But, at this point FaceTime videos are still just one-on-one.
That’s where the fun and free Houseparty group video chat app (iOS and Android) comes in. It allows us to all get on and video chat together every once in a while. It’s like having a party, without the dirty house to clean up when they all leave. Whoo!
That said, there are some concerns those of us parenting tweens and teens with their own phones have too, so read on before you download.
As an adult user, I see a ton of benefits here: I can quickly add the fellow room moms to a group chat to knock out the details on the class party, or I can get on with my siblings and in-laws to plan our next family reunion. Quick, easy, free. Done!
That said, as a parent of a kid who might want to use it, I have some reservations. Once you’re in the app, you can see which of your contacts are on at the moment — including who’s in a chat together. I can imagine the hurt feelings that might arise from being left out of a convo, because yes, you can lock the chat to keep people out. That also means it’s pretty impossible for parents to monitor.
But for grown-ups, it’s a really helpful tool for getting your family all together to plan an upcoming event. Or, just to let the kids get online together and make faces at each other. Preschool style.