The company behind live streaming app Meerkat has developed a group video chat app called Houseparty, which is already closing in on 1 million users.

The firm, called Life on Air, kept its identity secret and created the app under a pseudonym (“Alexander Herzick”), The Verge reported, going as far as creating fake Facebook and LinkedIn pages to keep up the facade.

Houseparty lets users jump between group video chats as wanted, rather than needing to set up specific video calls.

“Meerkat’s crew reportedly wanted to both avoid criticism for changing its strategy and to reduce the pressure after becoming a sensation, albeit a short-lived one after Twitter’s Periscope invaded its turf,” the report said.

Houseparty gained unexpected popularity after it was introduced to college students and was initially dogged with connection problems, although these seem to have been resolved.

Meanwhile, Recode reported Life on Air has shut down its office in Tel Aviv and laid off around five of its 20 employees.

However, it has hired new people in its San Francisco office, including Kyle Maxwell, a former senior Twitter engineer, to address its teething problems.