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 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.
Facebook has been working on cloning Snapchat's features for awhile now, but that's not the only service the social media giant is looking to duplicate. The Verge reports that Facebook recently showed a Houseparty-style live group video chat app, called Bonfire, to its employees. Earlier this year, Facebook sent out a survey asking teens for their thoughts on why they enjoy using group video chat apps such as Houseparty and Fam. The popular Facebook Live feature contributed to the decline of Life on Air's previous app, Meerkat.
Why, might you ask, is a company getting into something that Skype, Google and others have done so well for years? If the idea sounds familiar, it's a lot like Sean Parker's new group video chat app Airtime, but stripped of features like link, music and video sharing. Given the name, you might cynically think it's yet another attempt to capture the youth and party culture market, sans the broken china and burnt carpets. Apparently the strategy is working, because Houseparty is already bigger than Meerkat ever was after just a few months. The app launched quietly in February, and Meerkat CEO Ben Rubin hasn't even confirmed that his company is behind it (it's listed under "Herzick Apps").