Napster co-founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning introduced their newest brainchild yesterday — a video chat service called Airtime. This live chat website, similar to ChatRoulette, allows users to chat with friends or random strangers. The catch is that this service runs through Facebook, so Airtime users have to log-in with their Facebook credentials. The idea for this service was inspired by individual users’ Facebook profiles, which Airtime accesses to connect users based on common interests. Additional features include the ability to share YouTube videos on user profiles.
Airtime is being positioned more as a social network, where friends can communicate seamlessly with each other. And more importantly, the service cites accountability as one of its top priorities, a key factor that ChatRoulette lacked. Parker and Fanning also hinted at Airtime’s success due to its partnership with Facebook, which boasts a whopping 950 million members. The launch event featured live appearances by Hollywood actor Jim Carrey, talk show host Jimmy Fallon and TV star Joel McHale with live video chats with rapper Snoop Dogg and actress Olivia Munn. Parker said at the Airtime launch on Tuesday:
There’s no serendipity. Everything now is filtered through the social graph. We have the ability to share media faster than ever before. But the social network is somewhat constraining. It is become an increasingly public forum. You’re doing everything in front of your friends and that’s limiting.
Watch a demo video for Airtime below.