Stranger Networking: Airtime and The Social Butterflies

In recent times, we have seen a rather un-innovative approach from RIM, losing out to Android, and iOS devices on the applications front. RIM's effort at sweeping into the youth segment,
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June 4, 2018

Alright, we once lived in caves, and drove carts with wheels made of rocks, and then industrialization happened, and we became global, internet happened, we became connected, and social networking happened, and all of a sudden, we changed the way we communicate! Bizarre? Isn't it?

Bridging the Gap in Social Interaction

Social media has in one way put a fence around us. We communicate with those select few with whom we decide to share stuff and keep us locked away from the rest. Though it is good in a way, the whacky ones who wanted to meet new people online were termed spammers, and all friendship request denials were put on autopilot.

The founders of Napster, Sean Parker, and Shawn Fanning are the creators of Airtime, which they claim will bring together the excitement of old-school chatroom, and advances are webcam technology. Airtime makes it possible for a person to video chat with a complete stranger who shares interests similar to those of yours.

Airtime is part Skype and Part Facebook. You activate the service using your Facebook account, then choose to chat with a person based on your location or interests. Video on both the ends, and there are also options to pass, if the chat does not quite work out.

Launched only yesterday, Airtime is still on its early stages, but as more and more people sign up, the chances that you will find a better match will improve. Unlike old-school chatroom, dating sites, and the spam that comes with it, Airtime does all the necessary groundwork to ensure that the profiles of people are matched based on information shared on Facebook.

Airtime already also have a monetization plan in place, though they are just a day old. They plan to sell ad space, but they say that the revenues that they will earn in future will be driven by virtual goods(like mustaches that you can add to the chatters). While all this seems very ambitious, team Airtime could not put up the show that they planned to on the day of the launch.

With all the drama, and the excitement that is promised (though I hate webcam, I am very excited to try this out), whether Airtime will be the next big thing in social media, is still to be seen.

Image Source: Airtime FB Page

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