Sean Parker, founder of Napster, Plaxo, and founding president of Facebook, launched Airtime yesterday. It’s a video chat service linked to Facebook, taking advantage of Flash with its highly scalable P2P video functionality. It’s not a new idea, but with the close integration with Facebook, and the easy to use interface, it’s potentially a service that could reach a critical mass.
The Airtime website highlights the following benefits:
- The best and fastest way to video chat with your friends on any platform. No download required, just login with Facebook and begin video chatting with your friends immediately, right in your browser.
- Live content sharing with friends. Everyone on Airtime is both participant and performer. Play YouTube videos for your friends and see their reactions live.
- Discover people like you. Break outside your social graph and find people like you based on shared interests.
Fascinating is the fact that in July 2010, I blogged about a similar P2p video chat application prototype I wrote, called AIRTime – yes, that is correct, a similar idea AND the same name.
Obviously it was not more than a prototype, nor is the idea unique, therefore the chances I will be featured in the next “The Social Network” movie are negligible.
But it is a great verification for the future potential of Flash-based P2P, and great opportunities for end-users to create your own version of Chatroulette or Airtime. As a refresh, here is the video I posted in 2010.
(Update: Added poll)