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The test, which is occurring in six smaller countries, now offers two user feeds, according to a statement from the company: one feed focused on friends and family and a second dedicated to the pages that the customer has liked.

Get ready, Messenger users: Facebook's popular app is about to get a whole lot more in your face.

With the launch of Facebook's Houseparty clone rumored for later this year, Rubin is bracing himself for a fight.

The Next Web has confirmed that the app has been downloaded over 2000 times, and reportedly shows high levels of user retention in the Danish market – a key factor as to why it is being tested there.

The app is only available to Danish users right now, but you can download it with the right workaround.

Meanwhile, shares in the app’s parent company, Snap Inc., are trading well below their IPO price.

Even Rubin, as optimistic as he is, concedes the prospect of competing with Facebook is a daunting one. Like Meetup, which is currently under assault from Facebook’s Groups product, Houseparty’s pitch — "empower people to have more frequent conversations with the people they care about" — very closely aligns with Facebook’s new mission, “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together." Given that, a Facebook clone of Houseparty seems an inevitability more than anything else.

While Facebook Messenger and Whats App currently both support video chatting and group video chatting, Facebook is not above duplication of functionality in order to gain users and squash potential competition as the proliferation of story and status based features across its many apps shows.

Bonfire for its part is differentiated in that it allows users to apply 3D masks over their face (similarly to Snapchat and its face filters), as well as share screenshots of chats to Instagram and Facebook directly, relying on the massive install base of Facebook give it a leg up.

Those are solid metrics, but the company needs to bolster its feature set if it's to defend against an impending copycat offering from Facebook, codenamed “Bonfire.” With Groups, Houseparty hopes to encourage people to quickly create video-calling groups for everything from sports teams to families.

That could help it retain users who might be tempted to switch over to a similar Facebook service should the social network launch one.“If you already have your group somewhere — if everybody’s already there — why would you move?

With a large touchscreen, speakers, and camera for making video calls, the device is intended to Besides Aloha, Facebook's Building 8 is developing a separate smart speaker without a screen that works more like the first Amazon Echo.


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