Facebook is rumored to be developing a clone of Houseparty, the video chatting app created by Meerkat’s developers.
The Verge first reported about the new app, referred to internally as ‘Bonfire,’ citing anonymous sources inside Facebook that were recently shown a demonstration.
Meerkat died early last year, squashed by competitors with greater reach like Facebook Live and Periscope. Their parent company, Life On Air, changed their vision and launched a new app shortly after: Houseparty. Houseparty allowed users to participate in on-the-spot group video chats with friends & others in their network that happened to be online at the time. It quickly took off among middle- and high-school aged kids, reaching 1.2 million users by November of 2016.
Facebook recently unveiled a new mission statement, strikingly fitting for an app Houseparty-esque: “To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”
The Verge reports that the app is “being targeted for a fall release,” according to a source familiar with the matter. Facebook also has several other new apps in the works, including a dashboard for Facebook video influencers, and a parentally-controlled texting app.