Napster co-founders, Shown Fanning and Sean Parker need no introduction – they are well known figures throughout the tech world. The duo has been working on their next for the last two years and now, they have finally unveiled it. It is called ‘Airtime’ and it is basically a web application to enable person-to-person video calling.
Many of you would wonder why would anyone want to video call anonymous people online. Well, Parker and Fanning believe that this would allow for an all-new social experience. Although users can anonymously use the application, they will have to sign in with their Facebook accounts.
This coupling of Airtime with Facebook has been done so that if a user is flagged for inappropriate use, he can be kicked out of the place. So, though you can remain anonymous on Airtime, the application itself will know about you. That is a good step towards making this a secure video-calling application.
Interestingly, the duo was able to raise a whopping $35 million in funding, something which shouldn’t be a problem for the likes of Sean Parker who has become somewhat of a celebrity ever since the launch of the movie ‘The Social Network.’ And to this duo, Airtime is more of a ‘social discovery’ app that can be used simply to meet new people online.
Initially, though, the app may be a bore since it will need to attract at least 5,000 to 10,000 users before users can start calling up each other and things could get interesting. These are tricky grounds though since a number of similar ventures have failed in the past. So we are yet to see the ‘new’ angle of this venture.
The interface of Airtime looks appealing, giving a desktop look with two video panes right in the middle and a row of available friends to the right. Moreover, if an Airtime user is on Facebook, he will be able to receive notifications from Airtime in the form of instant messages. He can then directly navigate to Airtime.
Source: All Things D