Survival Life of Apps

Courtesy+of+Bear+Facts
Courtesy of Bear Facts

Courtesy of Bear Facts

Courtesy of Bear Facts

Catherine L. '18, Page Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






It’s a Friday afternoon as Olivia Parsons ‘18 races out of the Ursuline parking lot, her group text of friends is going off as usual. They’re discussing plans for a football game (among other things) and as Parsons finally pulls into her driveway and looks at the 40 missed messages, one more texts pops up on her phone “let’s just go on Houseparty.”

Parsons logs on, and as she waits for her friends to join, Ana, a friend of hers from New York, pops up on the screen and they begin a live video chat. Shortly after, Hannah, one of Parson’s classmates, joins the chat, followed by Amy, a friend of Hannah’s who lives in England. Not everyone knows each other, but as British, New York and Texan accents swirl through the screen, it’s clear that the video chat is no longer about plans for a football game but connecting new and old friends.

This is just a typical occurrence for Houseparty: a social media app for the iOS and Android  that allows up to eight smartphones to live stream video on the same screen and talk to each other. Users are given the option to join “rooms” (group chats) that one of their contacts are in as well as lock rooms to keep conversations private.

The app launched last February and has more than one million daily active users; however, it didn’t become popular among Dallas teens until October. But when this fancy Facetime did reach the Dallas area, it spread like wildfire and rooms quickly filled at full capacity, with people going so far as video chatting while sitting right besides each other.

Parsons commented on this phenomenon saying, “I think teenagers got so excited about Houseparty because it was like facetime with multiple people which had been in high demand for such a long time. It also offers a way to communicate face-to-face and make new friends, which no other social media app can do.”

However, just as quickly as it rose to fame, it fell. Conversation grew shorter, rooms grew emptier and the few that remained loyal to the app had no one left to talk to. “I think it died out quickly because people ran out of things to talk about so they got bored and left. Then when the first few people left other users didn’t have anyone to talk to so they left too,” said Sarah Hope Swaim ‘18. “It’s also a lot easier and less time consuming to just text or Snapchat.”

Simply put, there is no one reason why an app loses popularity. Could it have been too much face-to-face interaction? The occasional awkwardness when you no longer know anyone in a room? We don’t know. However, it is clear that when Snapchat added the new update of group text the last few loyal users of Houseparty jumped ship as well.

Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter: the trifecta of social media apps that have never waiver in popularity among teenagers. Why is this? Many would argue that it is their ability to consistently add new updates that not only keep them afloat but also eliminate competition in the process, just as Snapchat did with Houseparty.

This pattern is nothing new. For instance, the social media app “PHHOTO” allowed users to post moving pictures of themselves; however, it quickly died when Instagram added the update “Boomerang”, which allowed users to post moving pictures as well.

Similarly, Vine, a social media app that allows users to post looping six second videos, remained popular for three years. However, rather than just posting the videos on vine they were posting on Instagram and Twitter instead and lost popularity.

In the world of the internet, things move exceedingly fast. People lose interest in the blink of an eye, and only the most innovative apps can afford to survive. It seems like nothing can disrupt the social media trifecta; however, we will never forget apps like PHHHOTO, Houseparty and Vine that made the trifecta what they are today.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • News

    That Time I… Had a Communist Tour Guide

  • Survival Life of Apps

    News

    Taiwan Takes on Texas

  • Survival Life of Apps

    News

    Why is October the best month? One word: Pizza.

  • Survival Life of Apps

    Features

    Summer Job Adventures of Ursuline Students

  • Survival Life of Apps

    News

    New Restaurants at Preston and Royal

  • Survival Life of Apps

    News

    Introverts vs. Extroverts: A Social Myth Debunked

  • Survival Life of Apps

    News

    Flashback to 2005: Katrina vs. Harvey

  • Survival Life of Apps

    Entertainment

    Not All Museums have to be Boring

  • Survival Life of Apps

    Entertainment

    To be Released in 2017

  • Survival Life of Apps

    Partner Schools

    Peru Delegation’s Thoughts