After remaining fairly quiet since its celebrity-laden launch in early June, the Napster cofounders’ social video chat app Airtime is finally getting some new features: now you can make videos of yourself to share with your friends, and they can reply back with their own videos.
Think of it like a streamlined version of what many YouTube attention hogs already do.
Additionally, Airtime has refreshed its buddy lists to take advantage of the new video post mechanism. Now when you log in to the site, you’ll see your friends’ video posts, and you can easily record your own response to their conversations. You’ll also be able to easily find your Airtime conversation history, video messages, and text chats with friends when hovering over their names in the buddy list.
Founded by Napster cofounders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning, Airtime was their attempt to change the way we communicate on the web. But the company’s seemingly abysmal traffic numbers after two months isn’t inspiring much hope — especially for its investors, who poured $33.3 million into the company.
It’s taken some time, but Airtime is finally beginning to look like a potentially useful service and not just a safer clone of Chatroulette, the random video chat sensation that quickly became filled with phalli. The addition of video posts (however basic it may be) makes Airtime more practical, since you won’t have to wait for your friends to be available for video calls. You can also start video conversations by posting a YouTube video.
Airtime’s most direct competitor, the Facebook video chat app Rounds, doesn’t yet have a video messaging feature. Other video chat services like Tango have offered video messaging for some time now, but Airtime’s deep connection with Facebook could make the feature more enticing.
Initially, I thought Airtime had a lot of potential, but that it’s taken two months to do something as simple as reorganizing your buddy list definitely has me worried. Hopefully, it won’t take several more months until we see the next new Airtime feature.
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