We will not monetise user data through ads: Houseparty

We will not monetise user data through ads: Houseparty

Video chat app Houseparty on Thursday said there has seen a strong growth in its userbase in India, and asserted that it has no plans of monetising user data through ads.

The app was in limelight after reports emerged that hackers were using the app to steal data from users' smartphones, leading to many users uninstalling the app. Houseparty had said these hacking rumours were part of a "smear campaign" and had even announced a USD 1-million bounty for providing proof of such a campaign.

"Protecting customer data is important to us. We investigated the rumours and found them to be baseless. In fact, we put out a USD 1 million bounty to figure out where it was coming from. We are using industry-trusted encryption and are approved by app stores of Apple and Android," Epic Games General Manager India and Southeast Asia Quentin Staes-Polet told PTI.

He added that the company has no plans of monetising user data through ads.

"Our current focus is on expanding user base and their experience. If we were to look at monetisation, it will be based on additional services like premium games," he said.

Staes-Polet said Epic Games-owned Houseparty has registered over 50 million new users globally in just 30 days (March 14-April 13) and in India, its userbase has grown 159X in this period.

He, however, declined to comment on the total userbase in India and globally.

"India is one of the most important markets for Houseparty across the globe and is part of the top 10 markets for us. We have seen an overwhelming response from the Indian users. Some of the top regions by users for us in the last 30 days are Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Pune, Chennai and Ahmedabad," he said.

Going forward as well, Houseparty will see growth from top 8-10 cities of the country, he added.

In terms of engagement and usage patterns, average time in conversation per user remains at over 65 minutes, and nearly half of the people having a conversation on Houseparty are playing games, he said adding that the trends in India are somewhat similar.

Staes-Polet added that the company is also looking at adding more content and games for its users.

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