November 16, 2012

Airtime – Video Chat With Facebook Friends

Airtime is a tool that people with Facebook accounts can use to chat with their friends face-to-face, without having to download any extra plug-ins or software. In addition to chatting with their friends, Facebook users can also use the web-based platform to record videos and connect with interesting people from around the globe.

Airtime is similar to Chatroulette, but with a sophisticated – and hopefully safer –twist. Login through Facebook and launch the Airtime platform inside your current browser to begin video chatting with friends and strangers. The application will search through your Facebook friends to see who’s online, and you can leave brief video messages for any friends who don’t “pick up” after you’ve “called” their computers with the app. In addition to searching through people you already know on Airtime, the web-application also helps you meet new people who live nearby, share similar interests, or run in similar social circles. One way that Airtime helps to get conversations between strangers going in a positive direction is by providing each user with a list of the other person’s personal interests and hobbies. The application protects your identity when you’re meeting new people online by obscuring your name and identifying details. This information remains private up until you request to add the person you’re chatting with as a friend on Facebook.

To ensure that calls between two anonymous users haven’t ventured into Chatroulette territory, Airtime periodically scans its users’ conversations looking for any signs of inappropriate conduct. The web-app also awards users with badges and points that they can earn for having “quality” conversations with strangers, making new friends through the platform, and inviting friends people to join the service.

Practical Uses:

  • Chat with your best friend online
  • Hang out with strangers rather than spending Friday night alone
  • Post video messages that your friends will see the next time they’re online
  • Meet people who share your obsession with Star Trek

Insider Tips:

  • Airtime is available to anyone 13 and over with a Facebook account
  • Airtime monitors calls between strangers, but it doesn’t monitor direct calls between friends
  • Users can’t change their names or locations on the service
  • Airtime may post updates on a user’s Facebook account when he or she plays videos or adds new friends through the app

What we liked:

  • Airtime has a number of processes in place to prevent inappropriate conduct
  • Strangers who connect on the site remain anonymous until one person accepts the other person’s friend request
  • People can record and share videos with friends through Airtime
  • Airtime is a great way to meet people with similar passions and interests

What we didn’t like:

  • People who value their privacy may not want to come across friends of friends when they’re meeting new people on Airtime


Company Info:

  • Launched: June 2012
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California
  • Founded by: Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning
  • Web site:


  • Free

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