Facebook is shutting down Bonfire, its Houseparty clone for group video chat

Facebook is closing a clone of the Houseparty group chat application, The Verge has learned. Bonfire, which Facebook started testing in the summer of 2017, will stop working this month. The application began testing in Denmark in the fall of 2017, but never reached the United States.

"In May we will finalize support for the Bonfire tests," Facebook said in a statement. "We will incorporate elements of what we learned in other current and future products."

Facebook's effort for the cloning of Houseparty suggested that the company had become somewhat nervous about the initial success of the application with younger users. Houseparty began his life as a synchronous group video chat in which participants would open it to see who else was already online, going digital. The company hoped to create a network based on live virtual hangouts.

Houseparty has not revealed how many people use the application in recent memory. The company recently started selling games as part of a shift towards building "shared experiences." Ben Rubin, the co-founder and CEO of the company, retired in March. Its co-founder and former operations director, Sima Sistani, now runs the company.

Facebook has been adding group video chat features to its other applications over time, including Instagram and Messenger. At the Facebook F8 developer conference this week, the company announced that a feature to watch videos together in Messenger will soon be released live on the app.

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