Facebook is reportedly working on a stand-alone app that would soon help its over two billion users make live group video chats on its platform. According to a report in The Verge late on Wednesday, the app that copies technology startup Life On Air’s popular group video chat app ‘Houseparty’ was recently demonstrated for employees and is being targeted for a fall release. The new app has the working name ‘Bonfire’. Details about ‘Bonfire’ are still unclear though it was described as “essentially a clone of Houseparty”.
Facebook’s move comes after Life On Air had helped make live broadcasting popular with its app ‘Meerkat’, which inspired its eventual competitors Facebook’s ‘Live’ and Twitter’s ‘Periscope’. ‘Houseparty’ is especially popular among teenagers and by November 2016, it had 1.2 million users spending a total of 20 million minutes on it daily.
It works by notifying a user’s friends whenever they have the app open, inviting them to hang out virtually on their smartphones.
According to the report, employees at Facebook were also recently shown an app called ‘Talk’, designed to encourage younger people to communicate with their grandparents using video chat.