New video social network from Napster team – AirTime

by Dale Wright

Did you have a Friendster account back in the day? Since then, you’ve probably had accounts on lots more social networking sites: Myspace, Bebo, Orkut, Facebook, Twitter, Google+… it seems like there are hundreds of sites we can use to interact and communicate with loved ones online.

Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning, the creators of the first music sharing website, think there is room for one more. They were the founders of Napster, having set up the pioneering site at the age of just 19. Sean Parker later became heavily involved in the expansion of Facebook, achieving major funding which brought the site out of American colleges and out into people’s homes. His share from the success of Facebok was a cool $2.1 billion. Nowadays, he is heavily involved with Spotify.

Parker and Fanning will be launching a new social network, Airtime, with $8 million of investment. (Although Parker could arguably have funded it himself, there’s nothing like the kudos of investment from people such as and Ashton Kutcher to get your business off to a good start.) The site will combine random video chat partners (in a similar way to Chatroulette) with a social networking back-end.

Airtime appears to be a direct challenge to Sean Parker’s former employer, though; he has called Facebook “rigid”. With Airtime, he plans to incorporate features such as advanced video chat with random people to make it more dynamic. Unlike Facebook, where you never make friends with people you don’t know, you’ll join Airtime specifically to connect with people you don’t know – ideally those that have the same interests and hobbies.

What do you think: cool idea, or a step backwards?

Airtime is set to launch towards the end of this year. If you want to be one of the first to try it, you can apply now at