According to a new report, Facebook is working on a standalone app for group video chats. The app reportedly takes inspiration from Houseparty, a group video chat that emerged from the downfall of the live streaming app Meerkat. The working title of the app is said to be Bonfire. Facebook reportedly demonstrated the app to employees recently.
Citing a person familiar with the matter, The Verge reports today that Facebook is aiming to release this new app by the fall this year. When contacted by the scribe, a spokeswoman for Facebook said “We don’t have anything to share at this time.”
Meerkat was a live streaming app that shot to popularity, however, users ditched the app once the novelty wore out. Meerkat’s founder Ben Rubin later pivoted the company to group video chat with Houseparty. The app notifies a user’s friends when they have the app open so that they can all virtually hang out.
No further details about Facebook’s Bonfire app are available at this point. One source mentioned in the report claimed that Bonfire is basically a Houseparty clone. It may not be the only standalone video app that Facebook is working on.
Employees have reportedly been shown another app called Talk. The app is said to encourage younger users to communicate with their grandparents using video chat. It’s unclear whether this app will make the cut.