Social networking giant Facebook is said to be working on a live group video chat app dubbed Bonfire, according to The Verge. The report says Bonfire is inspired from Houseparty, a group video chat app which was launched last year. Although Facebook has not confirmed any development around Bonfire officially, the report says the app was recently demonstrated to employees. Bonfire is said to release sometime this fall. However, the report does not say much with regards to what the app is capable of or how it works. A source close Facebook told The Verge that the app is nothing but a Houseparty clone.
Facebook’s decision to foray into live group video broadcasting space comes two year’s after Meerkat, the app created by Life On Air, went live. Meerkat initially started off as a live broadcasting app and later pivoted to group video chat. The decision was made after the CEO Ben Rubin realised not many people use live broadcasting. Twitter-owned Perioscope and Facebook both have live broadcasting feature working on their platforms. Facebook, being the biggest social networking platform globally has an edge over competitors in terms the user base. As a result, if Facebook decides to introduce Bonfire, the services like Houseparty will face a stiff competition.
As of 2016, Houseparty reached 1.6million users and became popular among teenagers. Facebook, being in the social media industry, must have seen an opportunity and decided to try its luck in the live group video chatting space. In a similar story, Facebook did whatever possible to acquire Snapchat. When it failed to do so, it started implementing Snapchat’s flagship features like status updates that vanish after 24 hours across all its platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. Today, Facebook-owned Instagram has more active users than Snapchat.