Skip to Content

Facebook’s Copycat Group Video Chat App Is Now Available on Android

Facebook has extended the availability of its new Bonfire group video chat app to Android users. Well, to Android users in Denmark at least.

The existence of Bonfire, which seems to replicate the functionality of another app called Houseparty, was first reported by The Verge a few months ago. Then, seven weeks ago, The Next Web spotted the app on Apple’s iOS platform—though, strangely, only on the Danish iOS App Store.

It seems that Facebook (FB) has chosen Denmark as its test market for the service, as it has now put it on the country’s Android Play Store too.

Facebook is known for copying the functionality of up-and-coming communications apps that may potentially threaten its hold on the attention of its users—particularly its younger users. It has famously copied Snapchat (SNAP) many times, for example, though not always successfully.

In this case, the target is Houseparty—the successor to the failed streaming app Meerkat—and others in the group video chat space, such as Sean Parker’s relaunched Airtime.

Facebook’s advantage, of course, is that it can tie Bonfire into its ecosystem of super-popular apps, including Facebook itself, Facebook Messenger and Instagram. As The Next Web reported after downloading the app from the Danish Play Store, it lets people take screenshots of conversations and share them directly to Instagram, for example, and chat with Messenger users who don’t have the newer app.

So if Bonfire spreads from the tiny Danish market, those competitors will have a serious problem on their hands.