Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has earned itself quite the reputation for copying its rival Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) snapchat features but this time the firm is reportedly working on a standalone app for group video chat that has been codenamed “Bonfire.”
Sources familiar with the matter revealed to The Verge that the social media giant is currently working on this new video chat. They also claim that Facebook will most likely launch the app during the third quarter this year. The company itself has maintained a tight lid on any information, and thus there is very little information available. The only available detail reveal is that it is a video chat app that will support group chats.
“We don’t have anything to share at this time,” stated a Facebook spokesperson.
Facebook may have copied the Houseparty app
Facebook’s upcoming video chat app is believed to have to have copied a similar group video chat app called Houseparty. The sources claim that the “Bonfire” app has a lot of features that are similar to those of the Houseparty app. The latter sends alert to users when their friends open the app and sends out invites for video chat hangouts. The Verge reported that the video chat app is popular among teens and it had roughly 1.2 million people using it for an average of 20 minutes every day in 2016.
Facebook seems to have seen the potential in the numbers and the fact that it already has platforms with billions of users means such a feature would significantly increase its revenue. This is because such a platform would allow its ads to reach more people. Facebook received a lot of criticism for copying numerous features from Snapchat and it seems it does not mind copying as long as there is an incentive to copy.
The new app will align with Facebook’s aggressive push towards video. It also resonates with the statement that the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg made, about his company shifting its focus towards bringing local communities together. Sources also claim that “Bonfire” is not the only video app that the company is working on.
Facebook stock closed the latest trading session at $148.82.