Facebook's Bonfire Video Calling App Soft-Launches On Android

Facebook's Bonfire app for group video calls soft-launched on Android earlier this month, approximately six weeks after first being sighted on the iOS App Store. The number of countries in which the app is officially available for download remains unclear, though it appears that Danish consumers are once again able to install it from the Google Play Store, with Denmark also being Facebook's testing country of choice for the iOS version of the app. Officially called Bonfire: Group Video Chat, the service is relatively straightforward to use, being designed for group video calls for up to nine people.

While the current version of Bonfire is still highly experimental in nature, the app appears to be relatively stable and lag-free. Its interface is somewhat similar to that of Houseparty, with both being designed to cater to the same audience - young people looking to participate in casual video calls with friends. Facebook's augmented reality technologies are also part of the package here as Bonfire comes with support for a variety of AR stickers and filters that users can attach to their video feed. There's around a dozen of such items available in the current build of the app, though many of them need to be downloaded manually after the app itself has been installed. The process of doing so appears to be relatively quick and it's unclear why the apparently lightweight stickers aren't automatically downloaded with the app itself.

Bonfire can unsurprisingly only be used with a Facebook account, though the process of inviting friends to calls appears to be relatively straightforward. The actual camera interface of the app is somewhat similar to the one utilized by Instagram and Facebook, as seen in the gallery below, though its capabilities are still relatively limited compared to those two. Users are able to easily take screenshots of their chats and share them to Facebook and Instagram from within the app, with the calls themselves being limited to your Facebook friends and their connections. Refer to the banners below to see if Bonfire is already available for download for download in your country or sideload it if it isn't and you're interested in giving it a go.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]