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(Pocket-lint) - Meerkat is back, with a new app that already has a million users.

Shortly before Periscope became known as one of the most popular live-streaming apps on the market, a similar app called Meerkat debuted at SXSW and basically became an overnight sensation, but then Twitter bought Periscope and the writing was on the wall for Meerkat.

Fast forward a couple years later, and Meerkat's creators have launched a group chat app called Houseparty. They actually built Houseparty under the pseudonym Alexander Herzick, according to The Verge, for about 10 months, and even created bogus Facebook and LinkedIn pages to hide the fact that Meerkat was changing its strategy. Meerkat has been demoing the app to college students, and it's already nearing 1 million users.

Watch the video below to see how Houseparty works. You basically just invite friends via SMS to join your group chat, and then you're able to video call with all of them at the same time. Your friends obviously need to download Houseparty to join calls, though. The idea is, with Houseparty, you'll no longer use group texts to check in with many friends at once but rather live video.

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Houseparty reportedly grew so quickly that the service was overwhelmed and suffered connection problems. Everything seems to be going well now however, as the new app, which is free to download and use, currently has five-star rating on the Apple App Store and four stars on the Google Play Store.

Writing by Elyse Betters.