No one is on Facebook, so how are we inviting friends to parties and shows?

A screenshot of a Facebook party invite

A decade ago, when you made a new friend IRL, you’d add them on Facebook. You’d see each others’ posts and, eventually, when you wanted to invite them to a party, you’d create an event page and add them to it.

But now, when you meet someone new, maybe you’ll follow them on Instagram or Twitter or no social media at all. And none of those platforms have a solid way to invite someone to an event.

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

Texting or emailing people

A screenshot of me inviting a few friends over for brunch
I recently invited one of my group chats over for brunch and used a group text Credit: Screenshot/ Mashable

The modern version of sending out paper invitations, texting your friends to invite them to a party is a classic. It’s also terrible, because it’s difficult to maintain a list of yeses and nos. You’re going to receive individual follow up texts instead of bulk messages, and if anything changes to your event as the day nears — like a time change — you’ll be forced to send out individual texts to everyone again.

Pros: 

  • You likely already have your guests’ phone numbers or emails, so contacting is easy

  • It’s ideal if you’re only inviting a small number of people

Cons:

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

  • It’s difficult to keep up with the guest list

Instagram Close Friends Story

A party invite posted to my Instagram Close Friends Story earlier this year.
An invite my roommate made for our housewarming party this year. We posted it to our close friends story on Instagram. Credit: Screenshot/ Mashable

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

Pros:

  • You likely already have your guests’ insta’s, so contacting is easy

Cons:

  • Not everyone has Instagram

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

  • It’s difficult to keep up with the guest list

  • You can’t guarantee everyone on your close friends will view your story

Red Stamp

A series of screenshots from Red Stamp's page on the Apple App Store.
Huge Happy Holiday’s vibes 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 to your event. You can use the app to send invitations via email, text, or posting on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Pros:

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

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

Cons:

  • Reviewers have complained that it’s difficult to personalize your invites, and that the new update on the app made it a bit more clunky

  • It isn’t as interactive as other platforms

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

Hobnob

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 party-invite void left by Facebook.

Pros:

  • You can see the guest list

  • It’s easy to keep track of

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

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

Cons:

  • Hosts have to download a new app to your phone. Guests can RSVP without downloading the app, though

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

Partiful

A screenshot of an invite to a single release party on Partiful
My friend is having a release party for her new song, and sent out the invite on Partiful. Credit: Screenshot/ Partiful

New platforms like Partiful are trying to become the next place for party invites. And it isn’t terrible!

Pros:

  • You can see the guest list

  • It’s easy to keep track of

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

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

  • The site is very hip

  • It’s a web tool, so you aren’t asking anyone to download a new app

Cons:

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

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

Evite

A series of screenshots from Evite's page on the Apple App Store
An oldie 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 in lieu of a paper card, and you can use it to send invites to parties, too.

Pros:

  • You can see the guest list

  • It’s easy to keep track of

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

  • There are added details you can include in the invite, like polls and gift recommendations

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

Cons:

  • It’s pretty outdated

  • The design of the site leaves a lot to be desired, aesthetically. This matters — the tone of an invite can affect the tone of a party

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

gCal

A screenshot of a party invite on gCal
When one of my friends threw a house party, she sent out the invites on gCal. Credit: Screenshot/ Mashable

As a virgo, sending an invite with all the information for an event directly to my calendar is akin to one of the most caring acts you can do for me. This is, inarguably, the best way to invite people to parties.

Pros: 

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

  • You can see everyone else on the guest list

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

  • You can add a cute lil picture to the invite

Cons:

  • You have to ask everyone for their email addresses

  • Everyone has to have access to a google account

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

And, please, keep in mind: No matter how you choose to invite people to your parties, don’t forget to invite me.