While many of us might not be able to hang out with our friends and family in person right now, there are plenty of ways for us to connect online.
With people across the world being advised to self-isolate at home, social media and chat apps have become the go-to for catching up with friends.
But aside from the usual WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and FaceTime, thousands of people from across the world have been using another platform to keep themselves entertained.
Houseparty – a video app that allows you to play virtual games with your friends – has become a quarantine saviour.
Here’s what you need to know:
What is Houseparty?
Houseparty is an app that allows users to chat via video link and hold a virtual games night with your friends.
It is available via the app store for iOS, Android and Chrome users and is free to download.
The app was created in 2016, but has increased in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, Houseparty was bought by Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite.
In the past week, the app has gone from being ranked number 304 in the social networking section of the Apple Store to being its most downloaded free app.
How does it work?
Once you have created your account you can connect with your friends, either by sending them an invitation or linking your contacts through social media or your phone book.
Once you have connected with friends, you will be able to see when they are online and invite them to chat via video call.
Once you have connected, you can select from several virtual games to play together.
Which games are available?
You can play Heads Up!, Trivia, Chips and Guac, and Quick Draw, and each game can have up to eight players at once, all connected via video link.
You can also send people "Facemail" video messages, which they receive when they open the app, as well as join any other "houseparties" your friends might be in.
What else do you need to know?
The app has some add on packages, if you grow bored of the standard games available. You can add themed Heads Up! decks, such as Game of Thrones or Friends, as well as extra trivia questions if you work your way through the others.
Houseparty will let you know as soon as your friends are "in the house" (online), so you will never miss a game.