Justin Timberlake Sean Parker, one of the co-founders of Napster and an early investor in Facebook, has called a spade a spade and said that the social network is “boring” at the launch of his new video chat and file sharing platform Airtime, which funnily enough has almost nothing actually new to it and sounds pretty boring itself.
Like Facebook video calling (which is apparently a thing now?), Google+ hangouts, Skype, FaceTime or notorious online dick-shot-nary (that’s a dictionary of dick shots) ChatRoulette, Airtime allows its users to video chat with both friends and strangers alike via the Facebook platform, meaning that instead of posting a video mash up of Barack Obama singing ‘Call Me Maybe‘ to somebody’s wall you’ll be able to both share and watch videos together in real time, which until Airtime “wasn’t possible” according to Parker, who has enabled us all to experience this life-changing “platform for synchronous interactions.” (Previously known as, regular interactions.) UPDATE: Here’s that video I promised to post on your wall, let’s watch it together now, or interact synchronously:
Parker also maintains that his web app goes one further than The Facebook, in that Airtime will allow you to connect with people outside your immediate social network through video linking you to people with similar interests on the already existing Facebook interest social graph.
So if you like ‘Boss Hunting’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother’, not only have I literally just unfriended you, but you can talk about how much you live by the Bro Code with an initially anonymous stranger before revealing yourselves and building your social network. And because the app works via Facebook, there’s a certain level of account-ability to be had and algorithms in place which will prevent those prone to publicly broadcast fapping from exposing themselves to you, allowing Airtime to sidestep the hazardous anonymity of sites like ChatRoulette. Thankfully though (and like ChatRoulette), anonymous, clothed or not there’s still an all-important ‘next‘ button.
Airtime launched with a celebrity-studded event in New Yooork overnight, which started with a Q&A lead by Jimmy Fallon and transitioned into a revolving door gimmick of comedic appearances, with each successive star Airtiming the next (is that verb ever going to take off?) Olivia Munn, Joel McHale, Snoop Dogg (who although not a comedian is still mildly hilarious), Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ed Helms and Jim Carrey each took turns at the new platform and each encountered their own technical difficulties. The whole thing sounded very awkward and not nearly as cool as Parker was aiming for. And this is a guy who wears sneakers with pin striped vests and scarves, so you know, billion dollar cool.
Photo by Justin Sullivan via Getty Images