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Houseparty is encouraging people to co-watch videos with friends

The video-calling app is holding a live event you can watch with friends this weekend.
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Houseparty has become more popular than ever these past few months after serving as a way for people sheltering at home to go on group video chats. Now, it’s taking the chance to expand its services by hosting a 3-day online festival meant to encourage you to co-watch live videos with friends. According to TechCrunch, the event running from May 15th through the 17th is the first in a series of experiences called “In the House.”

It will feature celebrities singing, dancing, cooking and even working out. The lineup for this weekend includes Alicia Keys, Katy Perry, John Legend, Snoop Dogg, Dua Lipa, Zooey Deschanel, Neil Patrick Harris and Terry Crews. Houseparty’s new video player makes it possible to watch the event with friends, since it plays videos on your screen without covering other people’s faces. So, you’re actually watching videos with them and not just watching while in a group text chat.

Houseparty spokesperson Kimberly Baumgarten told TechCrunch:

“Now that we have this live player it allows us to create more interactive experiences for our users to enjoy together in the future. This content will be additive to the Houseparty video chat experience for our users.”

The app will notify users about new shows by displaying a TV icon and a virtual billboard 30-minutes before their broadcast. In the House shows will only re-air once, 12 hours after their live broadcast, before disappearing for good.

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