Facebook is working on another clone. It’s called Bonfire, and it “borrows” features from Life on Air’s latest pivot – Houseparty.
Meerkat died. But the company behind it didn’t. It just pivoted into creating a new group video chat app called Houseparty. This of course got Facebook‘s attention. Notoriously poised to clone anything that it can, especially if it’s geared around live, Facebook took a few ideas from Houseparty’s game plan and started creating a video chat app of its own – Bonfire. According to the Verge, Bonfire was recently shown to employees at Facebook, and it’s slated for autumn delivery. Of course, Facebook had nothing to say on the matter. When asked by the Verge, a spokeswoman answered “We don’t have anything to share at this time.”
Houseparty was launched last year and has since taken off among teens, with over 1.2 million active users generating 20 million minutes of group video chats a day. Keen to tap into a huge market of teens, Facebook has done everything in its power to build apps and features that attract them – i.e Stories. Now, it’s going after Houseparty’s idea of getting teens to hang out live.
The Verge’s Casey Newton explained that it’s not clear exactly how Facebook’s Bonfire works, however “one person described it as essentially a clone of Houseparty.” If so, how much of a challenge is it to Houseparty? Well, if Facebook puts its muscle behind it (it can certainly do so), Life On Air – the company behind Meerkat and Houseparty – will be in trouble once again.
Then again, Facebook is not great at creating cloned standalone apps. Also, as Newton rightly argues, “bringing close groups of friends together — encroaches on Facebook’s newly restated mission statement, which focuses on building tight-knit communities.” So, it might not find much success after all.