19th June 2012

A Review of Airtime: The PG-version of Chatroulette

Chatting with absolute strangers has always been a part of the Internet since the early days of message board systems. Text-based chatting continues to dominate many chat rooms, while video chat has never really taken off. However this could all change with Sean Parker’s (Facebook guy, Napster guy, The Social Network movie played by Justin Timberlake…you know him) recent launch of Airtime.

Airtime is the new live social video platform set up by Napster co-founders Sean Parker (pictured above) and Shawn Fanning. Built on Facebook with an incredible $33.5 million in funding, Airtime taps into your Facebook friend list to find potential friends for ‘Airtime’ video sharing. There’s no application to install – it works straight from your browser.

Now, you’re probably thinking: what about Chatroulette? Chatroulette has had great success in launching video chat, but it has had many complaints about the amount of creepy strangers that you come across…yeah, awkward. Airtime is different to Chatroulette in it uses Facebook to determine compatibility and has less ‘strange’ aka naked men matches. There is also a facial recognition part of Airtime that is set to screen for flashers.

So, what do we get if we sign on to this latest fad? Well, with Airtime you can watch YouTube videos with friends (or strangers, whatever you want buddy, we don’t judge). You can also leave people video voicemails and be matched with people who have similar interests in nearby locations. Apparently, Airtime will “re-humanize the Internet”. We can only hope in a good way.

So what does this all mean for your web video? Well, for those of you on the edge deciding whether or not to make a web video for branding purposes, this new tool just shows how much video is taking over the Internet. While Airtime doesn’t yet have web video commercials, you should have a video too — get out there! Dive into the mix of online videos, because if you don’t, you’ll just be left behind!

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About the Author

Anish hails from London and holds a degree in software engineering from the University of Manchester. Following his education, he worked for several years in the financial industry as a platform administrator before founding Revolution Productions in 2008. In addition to over seven years of video production, Anish is seen as an industry professional, adding his insight in publications such as VentureBeat, ReelSEO and Wistia.

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