Great post! I 100% agree with you on Houseparty. I think they have three major factors in their favor that should enable them to build a standalone business:
1) Technology tailwinds — growth in video as a medium, improving mobile bandwidth and lower costs to serve video
2) Clear utility — unlike other apps that blow up but lack long-term utility (and therefore retention), this is just as useful as snapchat’s original “auto delete messages and photos so others can’t see it” and “allow me to share authentically without being publicly judged via likes and comments”.
3) A core product experience that is difficult to copy/bolt on: the immediacy of opening the app and telling all your houseparty friends you are available is hard — but not impossible-for Instagram and FB to copy. Easier for Snapchat, but still not a slam dunk.