The (House)Party is Over...

Ariel Ariel

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps #82 - It's All in the Timing.... Check out the full article for more insights.

Houseparty, the "face-to-face social network" that blew up during lockdowns last year, is now officially dead. Last month Epic (yup, that Epic) announced it was shutting down the service immediately, and poof, it was gone.

This raises a few interesting questions, and my main one is why would Epic shut down a service that got so popular Apple "stole" its features?

Before we answer that, let's look at Houseparty's ride and how we ended up where we are today.

Since 2017, Houseparty made its way into more than 77M mobile devices worldwide across the App Store and Google Play, according to our app intelligence. The U.S. accounted for nearly half of all downloads, followed by the U.K., Germany, India, and Canada.

Looking at the trend, however, tells us a slightly different story.

Although Houseparty was popular pre-pandemic, its growth was negative. Between Q1 of 2018 and Q4 of 2019, Houseparty's downloads were down more than 50%. That's when Epic acquired it.

Then the world locked up, and in four months, Houseparty saw more downloads than the previous two years combined. About 34M downloads. But in Q3 of 2021, Houseparty's downloads returned to pre-pandemic lows, adding about 30% fewer downloads than Q3 of 2019.

It's all about the metaverse... With excitement for face-to-face interactions waning and Epic going all-in on the metaverse, there's no longer place for a standalone video app in Epic's arsenal. Going virtual is a big bet for Epic, but likely (and unfortunately) the correct one considering where the world is heading right now.

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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.

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