Innovative tech startups are a dime a dozen these days. With companies like Instagram being scooped up for $1 billion, and yes we know how rarely startups are purchased for that much, it is impossible to tell who the next “greatest” is going to be.
We take it seriously when we think an app or tech company is all the rage, and we stand by that belief today as we introduce Airtime.
Airtime will change the way we interact with one another through online communication. Much like how Instagram changed photo sharing and editing software, Airtime will change communication software.
Many of you have probably already heard of Airtime, especially with Mashable’s recent coverage, but just because you’ve heard of it does not mean that you know what the platform is or what it does.
What is Airtime?
Airtime is a live video platform for use with Facebook that allows users to connect and communicate with friends via an active video feed. When communicating with others, Airtime users can interact through a visual feed and through the use of additional elements, such as sharing online media or content.
Airtime was founded by entrepreneurs Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning, the original creators of Napster. As the official Airtime site outlines, Parker and Fanning created the service because they wanted to “explore what’s possible when large numbers of people are brought together live”.
Users can login to Airtime using their Facebook account and begin chatting “immediately” through a live video feed. In addition to chatting, users can also share Youtube videos via the feed, and discuss the content with their friends.
There are a million different social media sites that allow the use of live video feeds for chatting and conversing with friends, which brings us to our next question. What is so remarkable about Airtime?
What Makes Airtime so Special?
There’s one particularly noteworthy feature which makes Airtime special, and that’s the “Talk to Someone” option which automatically pairs you with another anonymous Airtime user that has shared interests.
When first signing into Airtime, the service encourages users to list several interests and hobbies. After choosing the “Talk to Someone” option, Airtime takes into account what it knows about a user and automatically matches them with a similar person for anonymous video chats.
The beauty of Airtime is that it allows you to meet someone and have a face to face conversation with them, without actually having to be in the same proximity. Sure, there are many different chatting platforms out there that offer the same tools to converse with strangers, but who wants to type lengthy conversations when you can just have them via a live video chat?
There is an option to remain anonymous throughout the entire chat, but if you hit it off with a match, you can reveal your name and contact information for later correspondence. There’s also a “Next” button which you can use to move on to a new user if you find your current match is less than enthralling.
Don’t consider this a form of social dating, because that’s not what it is at all. It is, in fact, a truly modern communication platform that allows geeks to meet other geeks over the internet and spark a budding friendship. Of course, the service is for everyone, even those of you who are not as geeky as the rest of us.
If you’ve ever desired to meet new people outside your usual element, Airtime is the best way to do it! Realistically you can meet people from all over the world with similar interests and hobbies.
How do I Start Using Airtime?
You can use Airtime anywhere, even while flying, by visiting the official site and logging in with your Facebook account. No personal information is changed on Facebook but Airtime does require a lengthy list of permissions – however, the site outlines that the service is committed to protecting personal information.
“User privacy is important to us, and we are respectful of the access you give us to your Facebook account.”
Due to safety concerns, and for obvious reasons, Airtime only pairs users who are over 18 with users who are also over the same age limit. This prevents abuse or harm being done to minors and also creates a safe environment for everyone.
Unfortunately, there are no applications currently available that allow the use of Airtime on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, but it is likely that the platform will transcend to other devices in the future.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and start meeting some new people!