Sean Parker - the famed founder of Napster and advisor to Facebook - seems invincible as an entrepreneur, at first glance. But the tech pioneer, who was portrayed by Justin Timberlake in Social Network, has landed smack down on his face for the first time ever.
Airtime, the overhyped and celebrity-endorsed venture that launched (miserably) earlier this summer, has lost many of whatever few users it had. Turns out, celebrity power wasn’t enough to keep video-calling app Airtime flying high. Nor was the basis and model behind the project enough to establish Airtime successfully.
After all, a prettier version of ChatRoulette just sounds like a venture bound for a disaster. According to third-party data tracker AppData, Airtime had 190,000 monthly active users on July 7. On August 5, the number had decreased by 47% to 100,000 monthly active users.
The application has lost 10,000 monthly active users in the last seven days. The news comes just a few months after the apps rocky--but star-studded--launch. This all started when co-founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning launched Airtime this June at Milk Studios in New York City.
Comedic actors Jimmy Fallon, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Joel McHale helped the former Napster co-founders (Shawn Fanning was the main founder of Napster) conduct the debut demonstration, and musicians Snoop Dogg and Alicia Keys used Airtime to dial in and address the audience.
Despite the celebrity fanfare, the event was riddled with failure. The product experienced frequent glitches and crashed several times during Parker's initial product demo.
So, what does Airtime actually do? Good question... According to someone familiar with Parker's creation had this to say:
Airtime allows users to video call their Facebook friends, or to connect with an unknown Facebook user based upon shared interests. The latter use drew comparisons to Chatroulette, an Internet service that randomly paired web callers together and garnered significant popularity before fizzling.
Will Airtime live to fight another day or will Parker feel that he is human for the first time as Airtime spirals down to its demise?