Although his net worth is reduced every time Facebook’s share price drops on the NASDAQ, Sean Parker, the guy best known for stealing the concept of Napster from Seth Green (and who surprisingly bears little resemblance to Justin Timberlake) has announced a new Facebook-based video chat service that will revolutionize the internet—if he can get it working. As CNET reports, the launch event for Airtime was a
“glitch-filled disaster” during which any attempts to connect to the service failed miserably. They even had trouble getting microphones to work. Fortunately, Jim Carrey was there to save the day. “Where do I click to download music…to destroy the music industry?” he reportedly asked Parker.
Unlike Napster, which was the first widely-used P2P file-sharing network, Airtime seems to be following in the footsteps of Chatroulette, a Russian-based service that peaked around 2007-2008, and has subsequently seen its popularity drop off dramatically—much like Myspace, which is now (partially) owned by the real Justin Timberlake. Chatroulette’s problem, apparently, was that too many people were exposing themselves. Or as CNET so eloquently put it: “The problem with Chatroulette … has been blamed on male genitalia, and the frequency with which some Chatroulette users displayed theirs over the video service.”
Parker says that privacy is a priority for his new service however; adding that being built on top of Facebook provides accountability. Well, considering that Facebook is now courting pre-teen users, let’s hope that’s one issue they’ll have resolved when Airtime eventually launches.