Unlike Facetime and Skype, Houseparty allows you to video chat with groups of friends. Simply start a chat, invite up to eight mates and you can chat with one another, as your screen splits to show live video streams from each user’s phone.

Video chats using the app are designed to be fluid. You can take part in several chats (or ‘rooms’) at once, dropping in and out of conversations and inviting friends from your contact list to join the party.

Houseparty is seeing success in the US. It already has clocked up 1 million daily active users and its growth is being driven by teens and young people: 60% of its audience is between 16 and 24 years of age. Only time will tell if it will really take off, but tapping into the trend towards live video streaming yet within a closed space could well be a recipe for success.

As researchers, we should always be evolving the tools we employ, looking to understand and work with the platforms, apps and technology that consumers are using in their daily lives. Houseparty could well be one to consider, particularly for engaging teens. You can see the potential for conducting friendship pairs or group discussions with teens through the app, as it provides the added opportunity to conduct research in-the-moment in a way that’s just not possible through your standard focus group.