Facebook is testing Bonfire group video calling app, takes on Houseparty


Facebook is reportedly testing a new application that allows users to make group video calls. The app, called Bonfire, was first spotted in July this year. 

Now, the video calling app has reportedly been spotted in the Danish Apple App Store. There is no word on the availability of the application in other markets. 

According to a report in technology media website TheNextWeb, Facebook's Bonfire application is similar to another popular group video chatting app called Houseparty. The report adds that Facebook's new application allows users to also add Snapchat-like live photo filters and share images with friends on other apps including Messenger and Instagram as well. 

The Bonfire app has been downloaded around 2,000 times with a good possibility of "user retention." Users can add up to eight participants in the group video call. The app also allows users to take photos of their video chats.

The app description on the App Store says: "Bonfire is a group video chat app that lets you hang out with your best friends and meet new ones. When you open the app, instantly start video chatting with friends. Use effects to express yourself and take pictures of your video chats to share on Instagram, Facebook, Messenger and more. From doing homework to catching up, Bonfire is the best place to get together with all your friends." 

"At Facebook Inc we continue to build and test new products and services. We already have many great experiences for people to video chat in groups, or as individuals, across the family of apps, including Messenger. We are interested in how everyone uses technology and how we can build great experiences for them. 

"We're running a very small test in Denmark of an app we call Bonfire. We have nothing further to share at this time," TheNextWeb quotes Facebook as saying. 

The concept of group video calling is certainly not new. The likes of Skype and Hangouts do offer this service, but don't really enjoy the popularity the likes of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger do. 

The Houseparty app, however, has been quite popular among users for its simple interface and refreshing features. 

Available for both iOS and Android, the Houseparty app is aimed at millennials, and offers features such as creating a group with select contacts, in-app messaging, and even share invites through iMessage (for iOS). 

The Bonfire app could possibly ape Houseparty with Facebook's wider reach and quick user adoption – something that Facebook has done to Snapchat. — Tribune News Service

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