Houseparty, a video chat app that rose to prominence when lockdowns were first imposed, is to close down.
The platform experienced a short spike in popularity for allowing people to virtually drop in to video chat rooms with friends.
But right at its peak Houseparty was hit by an unproven social media rumour that claimed the app caused users’ other online accounts – including Netflix, eBay, Instagram and Spotify – to be hacked.
Owners Epic Games, which makes Fortnite, consequently launched a one million dollar bounty to anyone who could prove it was targeted by a smear campaign.
Millions of people around the world have used Houseparty to connect with their friends and family since the app launched. Today, we’re sharing that we’ve made the decision to discontinue the app in October. ❤️👋
— Houseparty (@houseparty) September 9, 2021
The firm has withdrawn the software from all app stores immediately, before closing fully in October to any remaining users who still have it installed.
Houseparty was acquired by Epic Games in 2019 and integrated with Fortnite in 2020.
The company said the decision was made as it could no longer “give the app or our community the attention that it deserves”.
“We do not take the decision to discontinue the app lightly,” Epic Games said.
“The team behind Houseparty is working on creating new ways to have meaningful and authentic social interactions at metaverse scale across the Epic Games family.”