Nam Y. Huh / AP

Facebook is reportedly getting ready to launch a standalone group video chat app that may resemble Houseparty, according to The Verge. The new app would be called Bonfire and is reportedly aimed for a fall release. Facebook said it had nothing to share at this time.

Two years ago the group video chat app, Houseparty, took off with teenagers — by November 2016 it had 1.2 million users, each spending a whopping 20 minutes a day on it. Houseparty is in the top 200 apps on Apple's U.S. App Store, marking it prime meat for Facebook's next move, which has been on the hunt to buy or mimic other products that do well among young clientele (think its buyout of Instagram or its attempts to mimic Snapchat's features).

Why it matters: Facebook has made strategic investments in digital features, services and apps that eat at the user growth and success of competing apps or digital companies, like Snapchat, GoFundMe, Periscope, and Apple. Some have argued that the practice raises anti-trust concerns. Migrating users over to Facebook's network and keeping users engaged for longer on its platform helps Facebook amass more user data, which it uses to sell advertising revenue against.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 30,199,007 — Total deaths: 946,490— Total recoveries: 20,544, 967Map
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 6,675,593 — Total deaths: 197,644 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 90,710,730Map
  3. Politics: Former Pence aide says she plans to vote for Joe Biden, accusing Trump of costing lives in his coronavirus response.
  4. Health: Pew: 49% of Americans wouldn't get COVID-19 vaccine if available today Pandemic may cause cancer uptick The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine — COVID-19 racial disparities extend to health coverage losses.
  5. Business: Retail sales return to pre-coronavirus trend.
Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Mike Bloomberg's anti-chaos theory

CNN's Anderson Cooper questions Joe Biden last night at a drive-in town hall in Moosic, Pa., outside Scranton. Photo: CNN

Mike Bloomberg's $100 million Florida blitz begins today and will continue "wall to wall" in all 10 TV markets through Election Day, advisers tell me.

Why it matters: Bloomberg thinks that Joe Biden putting away Florida is the most feasible way to head off the national chaos we could have if the outcome of Trump v. Biden remained uncertain long after Election Day.

Biden's hardline Russia reset

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Getty Images photos: Mark Reinstein

When he talks about Russia, Joe Biden has sounded like Ronald Reagan all summer, setting up a potential Day 1 confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin if Biden were to win.

Why it matters: Biden has promised a forceful response against Russia for both election interference and alleged bounty payments to target American troops in Afghanistan. But being tougher than President Trump could be the easy part. The risk is overdoing it and making diplomacy impossible.