A new social media app named Bonfire: Groups and News just hit the iOS App Store, and it is everything that has been missing in social media apps! Bonfire is a stress-free social media platform, meaning no counters for sparks (likes) or the number of followers/following!
Bonfire: Groups and News allows its users to connect with others via mini-communities, appropriately named “camps.” Wait, doesn’t that sound like Reddit? It does! However, the app brings features that Reddit hasn’t provided its users in years – and also has a beautiful UI built designed for 2020. More on that later, though!
What is special about Bonfire?
Before we get into the differences, let’s see what we can recognize from other social media platforms. Posts on Bonfire are similar to Twitter, where every comment is a post itself. You can “spark” posts on Bonfire (like posts), which lets the user know that you liked it! Unlike other social media platforms though, Bonfire throws out all the numbers. By eliminating spark/follower counters, Bonfire truly sets itself as a platform where people can enjoy the content, not worry about the numbers.
Speaking to News Landed, Bonfire co-founder Hugo Pakula says, “We had to take a step back and look at how we, personally, were interacting with our social media apps – from the endless scrolling and consumption to taking a ‘detox’ from social, Austin and I both knew something had to be done.”
I also asked Austin Valleskey (also Bonfire co-founder) how the lack of counts affect communities: “We have no like/follower counts and most of our conversations happen inside of Camps (our version of groups). Because of that, a lot of fun Camps like #MirrorSelfies have been created—safe spaces where people gather around a similar interest.”
Another interesting fact about the main feed is how posts are sorted. Posts are displayed in groups – either posts from your friends or posts from camps that you have joined. One thing I have hated in social media platforms for years now is intelligent sorting. Bonfire groups your posts together, allowing you to see specific sets of posts together, rather than mixing it all up!
News channels on Bonfire
Misinformation and fake news are all-present on Reddit and Twitter. Though Bonfire: Groups and News is also a community-based platform, the app sets itself apart by directly integrating news channels in a separate section, where users can follow and quote the latest articles from their favorite publications! By allowing news publications to directly publish on Bonfire, the app takes a major step in promoting information from verified news publishers!
By the way, News Landed is also a news channel on Bonfire! You can use our friend code “NewsLanded” to skip the line and join our camp!
Camps on Bonfire
Camps are similar to subreddits – they are communities (public or private) that you can join to connect with other people of the same interest! One amazing use for camps, I have realized, is creating a camp for your family. Since camps can be private, they can be used to share personal information between relatives or groups of friends!
After using the app for a few weeks, I found myself posting in camps such as #Quarantined and #Apple about the topics I like! Unsurprisingly, these camps helped me find new people with mutual interest, and connect with them! It is also very easy to discover new camps, especially with the “Discover” page.
The design: Saving the best for last…
If you haven’t noticed already, the UI/UX of Bonfire: Groups and News is simply amazing. I can’t help bringing up a stark comparison to Reddit, pointing out the generational gap between the designs of the two platforms. The platform was designed to be simple and beautiful – and the UI reflects this. Everything is smooth, clean, and just makes connecting with people so much more fun.
Since we spend so many hours looking through social media apps every day, it is still surprising how so many other popular apps are still stuck on plain, boring interfaces. To learn more about the story of the design behind Bonfire, you can check out Austin’s Twitter thread below!
It started with a thesis: “inside of groups, people are more authentic and share more often”. Then we got creative and started prototyping: pic.twitter.com/u5yXGp6jFW— Austin Valleskey (@austinvalleskey) April 24, 2020
You can now download “Bonfire: Groups and News” on the iOS App Store! Remember to use the code “NewsLanded” to skip the line!
News Landed is a news channel partner on Bonfire. However, our articles about Bonfire are from our editorial and are not influenced by our partnership with the platform.