Facebook is working on a new standalone group video chat app that uses the same technology as Life on Air’s Houseparty app. According to a report in The Verge, Facebook’s new app has the working name Bonfire, and it was recently demonstrated to employees. It is slated to release this fall. “Details about how Bonfire works could not be learned, though one person described it as essentially a clone of Houseparty,” the report reads.
Houseparty, a video chat app, was created by Ben Rubin. Houseparty sends notifications to friends when user opens the app, prompting them to start a group video chat. Rubin and his team is also behind Meerkat, which allowed users to broadcast live from the app itself. Soon after Meerkat was launched, rivals rolled similar apps like Facebook Live and Periscope (owned by Twitter). Now it looks like Facebook is trying to build an app similar to Houseparty.
Meanwhile, Facebook is reportedly working on another standalone app called Talk. According to a report in The Information, Talk will allow parents to monitor who their children are in contact with. It can only be searched by the teens who use it and will be closed to strangers. Apparently, it will launch with new parental controls that would set the app apart from Facebook’s Messenger app.
Facebook, which has over 1.8 billion people on its platform globally, released its new mission statement at company’s first Communities Summit in Chicago. According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, company’s mission is to “give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” Facebook’s new Bonfire app is probably just a step in that direction.