Facebook Launches Bonfire – The Group Video Chat App
Facebook is trying to establish its presence in the growing group video market.
Back in July, Facebook was found testing a group video chat app called Bonfire. A few hours back The Next Web found that, Facebook has already launched the app in the Danish App Store, and soon might roll it out for global market.
Facebook wants to be everywhere. From Instagram to WhatsApp to multiple experiments with AI bots on Messenger. From food delivery to instant payments, and investments in several different ventures and what not. Now it is debuting the group video chat app Bonfire.
What is Bonfire?
The Bonfire app will essentially allow multiple people to participate in a video chat simultaneously. The app (for now) allows up to eight people to engage in video chat at one time. It also features real-time special effects and filters like the ones you get on Instagram and Snapchat. The Bonfire app has been rumored to be very similar to another group video chat app, called Houseparty.
How Does Bonfire Work?
The Bonfire app will let users join in a video chat straight from the Facebook Messenger without having the need to download the Bonfire app itself. The app has been made available in Denmark for now, and will soon roll out to other countries. Once it has a world-wide rollout, users can invite people from anywhere around the world to join in a video chat.
Facebook’s Smart Strategy
Technically you can use the video chat function on the Messenger without even downloading the Bonfire app. This strategy would help Facebook to create a home for Bonfire with a dedicated access by launching a multi screen group (up to 8 people) video chat, but at the same time will allow Messenger’s 1.2 billion monthly users instantly use the multi video chat feature.
Shutdown Of Facebook’s Standalone Apps
Recently Facebook killed their Instant Articles bot. Connecting the Bonfire and Messenger together would help Facebook rise from the lackluster traction, which led to the recent shut downs of other standalone Facebook owned apps like newsreader Paper, Snapchat like Slingshot, news alert app Notify and the video profile app Lifestage.
Good Results With Pilot Test
Facebook’s one-country launch indicates that they are clearly performing a pilot test with the feature, and are trying to cater to growing popularity of their imminent group video chat. Surprisingly, the app has been well-received in the Danish market with some thousand of downloads. Soon after it got an update with the ability to use special effects.
Competition From Skype and Tumblr
Skype has recently updated its app to improve their group chat, and has even added some fun features. Even iMessage-based Fam has entered the market a few months back. The group video chat segment already has Houseparty, Airtime, ooVoo, Marco Polo and several others in the market. Even co-watching apps like Tumblr’s Cabana or YouTube’s Uptime has been gaining popularity lately.
What’s Different On Bonfire?
Bonfire has been specially designed to enable you to hang out with your close ones in a private space, which will happen through face-to-face conversations. Bonfire will also to feed content back to the Facebook app at the same time, and other Facebook apps like Instagram and Messenger. You can even take screenshots during your chat and can share them to Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and other places instantly without leaving the chat. You can switch the screen format from everyone getting it into equal sized boxes, and can even work with picture-in-picture mode.
Bonfire has been designed as a utility with video feature buried inside, and Messenger integration!