Facebook is developing a standalone social video app aimed at younger users, according to The Verge.
Specific details on Facebook’s developing app, dubbed Bonfire, were unavailable. However, it appears to be similar to video chat app Houseparty, which lets groups of users video chat at once.
Facebook’s Bonfire joins other competitors in the burgeoning social video app landscape. Facebook faces competition from apps other than Houseparty — Tumblr recently launched its social video app called Cabana, which lets users video chat while streaming YouTube videos.
Similar social video chat apps Rabbit and Rave allow users to interact and watch video content through their mobile devices. Social video apps tend to be popular among younger users — 60% of Houseparty users were between 16 and 24 in December of last year, and
Tumblr’s Cabana was received well during its testing with 13- to 18-year-olds.
Here’s why it's important:
•It’s another example of Facebook launching a standalone app to challenge competitors. Facebook launched a youth-focused video app called Lifestage in 2016. It also launched ephemeral messaging apps Slingshot and Bolt in 2014, though neither were well-received, according to the Verge. Moreover, certain users of Lifestage voiced privacy concerns, specifically for children. Facebook is also developing a separate standalone app, called Talk — which aims to help users communicate with their grandparents via video chat, according to The Verge.
•It could keep more users within Facebook’s growing ecosystem. Bonfire adds to the wide array of standalone applications Facebook already offers, including WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. Bonfire can also help retain users within Facebook’s overall ecosystem, who may have otherwise gone to competing social video apps.
And it represents a potential channel for new ads. For example, the company could sell sponsored live AR face filters within group chats. In deciding on ad formats for Bonfire, Facebook will likely prioritize the user experience, as intrusive ads could discourage users from using the platform.
•Bonfire may stand a chance if it is able to create an environment where users feel connected. An environment that prioritizes users connecting with others, as opposed to focusing on popularity and receiving likes, is what Houseparty was able to develop, and is a reason that drove teens to the platform, according to Houseparty executive Sima Sistani. Houseparty was the third most popular social networking app in December 2016, which makes it unsurprising Facebook looks to develop a similar app.
Category: Technology News.