Airtime, the Sean & Shawn bred startup that launched earlier this week, has slowly grown on us. Our initial reaction was in line with the majority of the Internet’s: “Okay, it’s Chatroulette without penises.” But the more we’ve used the service, the more its benefits for networking, flirting and stymying boredom have revealed themselves.
But the thing is, since the site hasn’t really hit critical mass yet, you tend to run into the same types of people over and over again. They’re almost always very nice, but in our experience, they also almost always fall into one of the below five categories.
Okay, this reporter is part of the problem, but few seem to be as in love with Airtime as the navel-gazing, network-savvy media elite. While the new app has been extensively reported on, few of our Facebook friends who aren’t explicitly involved in media or tech seem to have caught on to the trend. We tend to wait to grant an app “phenomenon” status until it has been adopted by our Kardashian-obsessed, text-messages-in-her-sleep 20-year-old sister.
2. Startup Evangelizers
No where has the “everybody’s a CEO” meme been more obvious than within the hallowed video chat grounds of Airtime. The vast majority of folks we’ve bumped into on the service are founder or executive-level startup employees. And, inevitably, when they ask us what we do, we are subjected to an impromptu pitch session on why their company is the Next Big Thing.
3. People You are Purposefully Not Facebook Friends With
Remember that dude you had a short but torrid Thing with back in college, and now sometimes you see each other in line for coffee and you make that unspoken “I’ll pretend not to see you if you pretend not to see me” pact? Yeah, you’re not Facebook friends with him for a reason, and you sure as hell don’t want to run into him on Airtime.
4. The Lost, Lonely Men of the Internet
If this Businessweek piece is to be believed, a whole lot of dudes are looking at Airtime like it’s a video chat version of OkCupid. We definitely had the experience of running into some flirty young men–one, in fact, who could barely bridle his joy as he blurted out: “You’re a girl!”
5. Famous business leaders/investors/B-list celebrities
We all know Zuck uses it. So do Jessica Alba and Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, as well as Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley and Zynga cofounder Mark Pincus, who users apparently confuse for each other. Assumedly Olivia Munn, Jim Carrey, Martha Stewart, Snoop Dogg and Joel McHale use it too, since they were present for its launch. Personally, we’re still waiting for Ryan Gosling to catch on.