Facebook has begun quietly testing its new group chat app called Bonfire. The app is currently only available in Denmark and users can invite other people to join their Bonfire chats through the Messenger app. Facebook's Bonfire app was first spotted by The Next Web's Matt Navarra after browsing through the Danish Apple App Store. Based on TNW's videos, it looks like Bonfire also includes Snapchat-style effect when users are having a group video chat. Participants in the chat are also capable of sharing pictures from their Bonfire sessions via Instagram, Facebook and Messenger.
In mid-2016, a video chat app called Rounds did something that would completely change the course of its lifespan. It released a second app, called Booyah, that let you send links into a popular chat app like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, to start a video conference with your friends. You didn't need to register and you could stay in the chat app, but you were using the video technology developed by the team of engineers at Tel Aviv-based Rounds to see and talk to one another, on platforms that didn't have group-video chat capabilities yet. While Rounds had built up a respectable 50 million registered users since 2009, Booyah quickly racked up a million users and, more importantly for its creators, caught the attention of some of the popular chat apps it was being used on. Several reached out to Rounds, says its founder and CEO Dany Fishel, who won't give names.
If you're staying close to home but still want to socialize, there's an app for that. Actually probably more than you know. Video chat apps are clearly seeing a spike on the app charts. Zoom Cloud Meetings, which is designed for enterprise but free to use in any arena, is currently in the top 10 of Apple's free iOS app chart at No. 9, followed by Facebook's Messenger (used primarily for video chat) at No. 11. The Facebook-owned WhatsApp (also primarily chat) is No. 23.
Facebook has unleashed an attack on yet another teen app. The social networking giant is testing Bonfire, a group video chat app that is quite similar to Houseparty, The Next Web reported Wednesday. Bonfire has the tagline "Your friends, your fire" and allows users to chat with multiple Facebook friends at once via live video. Again, similar to Houseparty, each person's live feed divides up a part of the smartphone screen. While the app is only available to download from the Danish iOS App Store, we were able to test it out via an invite from The Next Web's Matt Navarra.
Facebook is said to be building a new standalone app that will enable users to have group video chats with their friends. Facebook's upcoming new app is said to be inspired by Houseparty, a group chat app that was developed by Life On Air, Inc. Facebook's new group video chat app is said to have the working name Bonfire, according to The Verge, who broke the news yesterday. The social network giant is said to be targeting a fall release, with the Bonfire app already being demonstrated to Facebook's employees. Not much is known about Facebook's new group chat app, but it will "incorporate ideas" from Houseparty. Houseparty was developed by Life On Air, the same company that created the once popular live streaming app Meerkat.