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article imageFacebook building its own Houseparty clone to disrupt live video

By James Walker     Jul 6, 2017 in Internet
Facebook is reportedly building its own live video chat app. It's an attempt to capture the attention of young audiences who often communicate in groups. The company is said to be planning a clone of popular group video app Houseparty called Bonfire.
The name is understood to be a working title for now. It is currently being demonstrated and tested by people within Facebook, The Verge reports. Facebook wants to cash in on the growing trend among teenagers and young users towards communicate in live video apps.
The report doesn't reveal much about what Bonfire will look like or how Facebook will make it stand out. The company is currently focused on building a Houseparty clone as it tries to win back favour among young users. Creating its own group video chat app will give it another tool to use against Snapchat, the company's primary rival among teenagers.
Houseparty was created by Life On Air, the company widely attributed with igniting the livestreaming craze. Its app Meerkat inspired the creation of popular Twitter-owned clone Periscope. Since moving on from Meerkat, Life On Air launched Houseparty last June as it pivoted towards a different form of video.
In little over a year, Houseparty has grown to over one million users. It boasts its audience spends over 20 minutes a day on its platform. While the active users figure is inconsequential next to the scale of Facebook, the impressive engagement statistics have got the social media giant interested. The company could be about to sink Life On Air's second app in the same way Twitter pushed Meerkat out of the market with Periscope.
Facebook is expected to put its brand and size behind the Bonfire app in an attempt to gain dominance in the live group chat market. It could use its existing platforms, such as Facebook Live, Instagram and Messenger, to encourage adoption of Bonfire.
People already share moments of their lives using "Stories" features in popular apps. Facebook hopes it won't be too much of a stretch to get people virtually "visiting" each other as they hang out in a group video app. If it succeeds, it will win another route to teenager users, an important asset to social media platforms.
Facebook's also planning other apps if Bonfire fails to gain attention. The company is known to be developing something called "Talk." Details are currently scarce but the app is said to be focused on bridging the generational digital divide.
It encourages younger users to talk to family members, such as their grandparents, using video chat. It's another attempt by Facebook to captivate every user, showing its willingness to develop tailored products for each group if they're likely to increase overall engagement.
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