Originally rumored back in July, Facebook’s ambitions for a dedicated group video chatting app now has taken the form of an app. It’s called Bonfire and is currently limited to iOS users in Denmark. The app right now seems to be in a testing phase as the social network hasn’t made any official announcements or revealed plans for a global launch just yet.
Bonfire, as you’d expect, connects with your Facebook profile and allows you to video-chat with multiple friends at a time. The app is largely aimed at the millennial crowd as it comes with a slew of Snapchat-like effects which you can make use of in real time while in conversation with someone. In addition to that, Bonfire lets you share pictures as well. Inviting your Facebook friends triggers a notification on Facebook’s website and Messenger. Therefore, it’s safe to assume Bonfire will be available on the desktop too.
Bonfire has been downloaded 2,000 times by users in Denmark, according to the app analytics firm Apptopia. Although we expect that number to grow exponentially once Facebook expands it to other regions and introduces it formally to the world. Bonfire clearly presents a critical threat to existing group video chatting services like Houseparty and if history is any evidence, Facebook will either destroy or acquire whatever comes in its way.
Bonfire, however, is an obvious launch for a company which has been aggressively pushing video for the past year on its social network. Facebook also has two other one-on-one video chatting platforms such as Messenger and WhatsApp. However, I hope Bonfire eventually gets merged in these existing platforms as Facebook already has a ton of communications app in the store. That being said, I get why the company would decide to let Bonfire live as a separate app. Messenger’s current interface has been criticized for being way too complicated and bringing in yet another feature won’t certainly help its case.