Without Facebook, how do you invite friends to parties?

Ten years ago, when you made a new friend IRL, you added them on Facebook. You would see other people’s posts and eventually, when you wanted to invite them to a party, you would create an event page and add them to it.

But now, when you meet someone new, you might follow them on Instagram or Twitter or not on any social media. And neither of these platforms has a solid way to invite someone to an event.

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Now that we can host small events carefully and safely, I’ve put together a list of all the ways you can invite people. From worst to best:

I recently invited one of my group cats over for brunch and used a group text
Credit: Screenshot/Mashable

The modern take on sending paper invitations, texting your friends to invite them to a party is a classic. It’s also terrible, because it’s hard to maintain a list of yeses and noes. You’ll receive individual follow-up text messages instead of group messages, and if something changes at your event as the day approaches – such as a time change – you’ll be forced to send individual text messages again to any the world.

Advantages:

  • You probably already have your guests’ phone numbers or emails, so it’s easy to contact them

  • This is ideal if you are only inviting a small number of people

The inconvenients:

A party invitation posted on my Instagram Close Friends Story earlier this year.

An invitation made by my roommate for our housewarming party this year. We posted it in the story of our close friends on Instagram.
Credit: Screenshot/Mashable

It’s less terrible than texting people, but still not great. It’s fun to create a small image representing your event, but then you have to go through your friends list and tailor your close friends to the only people you want to invite to your party. And then you have to hope your friends see the story, register that it’s a party you want them to attend, and then put it on their calendar. Plus, Stories only stay live for 24 hours, so you’re bound to have tons of follow-ups.

Advantages:

The inconvenients:

  • Not everyone has Instagram

  • Guests can’t see who else is on the guest list

  • It’s hard to keep track of the guest list

  • You cannot guarantee that all of your close friends will see your story.

A series of screenshots of Red Stamp's page on the Apple App Store.

Huge happy holiday atmosphere
Credit: Screenshot/Mashable

Red Stamp is a social commerce company first, but it also hosts an invitation system that sort of combines using an app, texting, and using social media platforms to invite people at your event. You can use the app to send invitations via email, text, or post to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Advantages:

  • Hosts can see a virtual mailbox, which helps consolidate and manage RSVPs

  • You can include all the details in the invitation, so you won’t have to repeatedly ask for an address or dress code

The inconvenients:

  • Reviewers have complained that it’s hard to personalize your invites and the new app update has made it a little clumsier

  • It’s not as interactive as other platforms

Red Stamp is available for iPhone on the Apple App Store.

A series of screenshots of the Hobnob app

Super simple, but requires a download.
Credit: Screenshot/ Hobnob

Hobnob is a new app created specifically to fill the invitation void left by Facebook.

Advantages:

  • You can see the guest list

  • It’s easy to follow

  • Hosts can include all the details in the invitation, so you won’t have to repeatedly ask for an address or dress code

  • When you update the event, you can notify your entire guest list at once

The inconvenients:

Hobnob is available for iPhone on the Apple App Store or Android on the Google Play Store.

A screenshot of an invitation to a single release party on Partiful

My friend is having a launch party for her new song and sent the invite on Partiful.
Credit: Screenshot / Partial

New platforms like Partiful are trying to become the next place for party invitations. And it’s not terrible!

Advantages:

  • You can see the guest list

  • It’s easy to follow

  • Hosts can include all the details in the invitation, so you won’t have to repeatedly ask for an address or dress code

  • You can send a link to it any way you want – email, text, Facebook messenger – which means you can invite guests you know from anywhere

  • The site is very trendy

  • It’s a web-based tool, so you don’t ask anyone to download a new app

The inconvenients:

  • You must create an account and enter your phone number to RSVP

  • The fact that no one wants to create a new account on a new site could skew the actual number of people who frequent

A series of screenshots of Evite's page on the Apple App Store

An old but a goodie
Credit: Screenshot/Mashable

Evite has been around for a while and lets you send e-cards to people online. It works for birthdays and holidays instead of a paper card, and you can also use it to send out party invitations.

Advantages:

  • You can see the guest list

  • It’s easy to follow

  • Hosts can include all the details in the invitation, so you won’t have to repeatedly ask for an address or dress code

  • There are additional details you can include in the invitation, such as surveys and giveaway recommendations.

  • You can send a link to it any way you want – email, text, Facebook messenger – which means you can invite guests you know from anywhere

The inconvenients:

Evite is available for iPhone on the Apple App Store or Android on the Google Play Store.

A screenshot of a party invitation on gCal

When a friend of mine had a house party, she sent out the invites on gCal.
Credit: Screenshot/Mashable

As a Virgo, sending an invitation with all the information for an event directly to my calendar feels like one of the most thoughtful acts you can do for me. This is unquestionably the best way to invite people to parties.

Advantages:

  • It automatically goes on your calendar, so you won’t forget

  • You can see everyone on the guest list

  • Hosts can include all the details in the invitation, so you won’t have to repeatedly ask for an address or dress code

  • You can add a cute little image to the invitation

The inconvenients:

gCal is available for iPhone from the Apple App Store or Android from the Google Play Store.

And please keep in mind: however you choose to invite people to your parties, don’t forget to invite me.

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