Posted on Monday, June 11th, 2012 by Ariel Disner
Airtime: Sean Parker may have done it again! The former Facebook President’s latest startup, Airtime, takes Chatroulette, channels Facebook and Skype to create a unique video chat experience. Get ready to meet the Silicon Valley Startup so big even Mark Zuckerberg’s been spotted using it…
Airtime – Having gone all out to generate online buzz for Airtime (celebrities including Jim Carrey, Ed Helms, Alicia Keys, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Joel McHale, Olivia Munn and Snoop Dogg were on hand at the June 5th launch), we’ve taken it upon ourselves at All My Faves to test Airtime out, and see it lives up to the hype.
Unlike Chatroulette, which often turned into a giant sausage fest, Airtime has two key functions: video chat with your Facebook friend or anonymous chat with a semi-random Facebook user, chosen based on your listed Facebook interests and friend networks. Because Airtime is not totally random (except for this random appearance by Mark Zuckerberg perhaps…) it has become on of the best ways to video chat with your Facebook friends.
Now that your in the platform, you’ll see a green Airtime interface screen with your Facebook chat list as well as Airtime chat lists are on the right of your screen. Click on a contact to instantly launch a video chat. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll find a tiny chat screen for typing only; this comes in handy if you don’t want to use audio. When you video chat with someone, your two faces each take up half the page, like the similar but inferior Chatroulette.
Talking to your Facebook friends is great, but you can already do that with the Skype feature added almost a year ago. The idea behind Airtime is to be able to meet new people with similar interests. To get started, there’s a big button “Talk to Someone,” which will get you started chatting. Hit it and Airtime will find you the next available person on the service who fits your criteria.
If you like who you’re chatting with, you can reveal your name. This automatically adds the contact in your Airtime chat list for future Airtime chats, and displays the connection on your Facebook Timeline.
Airtime’s other distinguishing feature differing it from Skype and Chatroulette is the ability to share videos. You can search for videos on YouTube directly on Airtime and then start sharing with your new friend. Once your video starts to play, your webcam feed shrinks to thumbamil size, with a small mic icon in the corner. You can mute yourself or turn on the mic, which lowers the YouTube video sound just enough so you can speak over it. This revolutionary feature makes it easy to share a YouTube video and talk about it with your new Airtime friend.
Traditionally, everything Sean Parker touches turns to Facebook. Airtime may be no different – he’s taken Chatroulette, added Facebook and Skype, famous people and taken away the nudists to create a great way to meet random people with similar interests. But what do you think? You be the judge. Did Parker do it again?