This article was published on July 6, 2017

Facebook wants to make group video chat a thing with its next app

Facebook wants to make group video chat a thing with its next app

After copying Snapchat’s biggest features to build Instagram Stories, Facebook is now looking to clone another app. The Verge notes that the social network is prepping Bonfire, a group chat app similar to one called Houseparty that launched last year.

Houseparty comes from Life On Air, the folks who brought you the original livestreaming app Meerkat (which was cloned into Periscope). Having launched without a major global announcement around June (as far as we can tell), it grew steadily to over a million users by November 2016 and is popular among teens. Facebook’s effort is said to offer near-identical functionality for starting group FaceTime-style calls instantly.

It’ll be interesting to see how the app is received when it launches sometime this fall. Facebook may have an advantage over Houseparty in its ability to quickly connect its two billion users to their friends on the social network in order to get them to use the new app – or even link to group chats straight from Messenger.

In the meantime, Lifehacker recommends trying Houseparty as a fun and easy way to catch up with friends scattered across the globe, as it lets people drop in anytime they like. Sounds like something worth firing up over the weekend.

Do you video chat with your crew often? Let us know if it works well for you (or not) in the comments.

Also tagged with