Have you ever wanted to enjoy the Chatroulette experience via Facebook? Now you can courtesy of Sean Parker, creator of Napster and key player in the rise of Facebook.
Mr. Parker believes that people are becoming bored with the web and with social media. “We have the ability to share media faster than ever before,” he says, “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.” Airtime is supposed to combat that by letting people interact with strangers via video on the world’s most popular social network.
This sounds like an ambitious goal for a Facebook app evolving a concept that has already had its 15 minutes of fame, but there may be some substance here. Users must log in with their Facebook account to use Airtime and, although connections are initially anonymous, users who like each other can become Facebook friends with a single click. Hopefully this will prevent Airtime from falling victim to the same trolling and XXX content that poisoned Chatroulette and its imitators.
Airtime doesn’t match strangers entirely at random, either. It uses shared interests and shared friends to create connections, which allegedly will make it easier to run in to someone you’ll be interested in chatting with. The demo video posted on the Airtime website certainly looks impressive –but previous demonstrations of the service have had to deal with technical glitches, so the verdict is out.
What do you think? Does the world need a Facebook connected version of Chartroulette?