Live video network Airtime launches with celebs (and no rude bits)

Airtime, a brand new live video chat social network, was unveiled at a star-studded event in New York City on June 5.

Airtime combines elements of Skype, Google+ Hangouts, Socialcam, ooVoo and “a clothed version of Chatroulette,” say people who have used the service.  

The browser-based video-chat service (which requires users to log in using their Facebook credentials) randomly connects video chat users with other, similar-minded people based on location and shared Facebook interests.

“There’s something exciting about bringing spontaneity to the Internet,” said Airtime co-creator and internet entrepreneur Sean Parker. “All of your interactions online are constrained by the people you already know. That wasn’t always the case. If it weren’t for the internet, [co-founder Shawn] Fanning and I would have never become friends. As we move from a social graph to an interest graph, there are great possibilities for our world. That’s what we’re trying to tap into with Airtime.”

Airtime can also be used to chat with and share videos with existing Facebook friends.

Napster co-founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning have gone all out to generate online buzz for their new startup.

Celebrities including Jim Carrey, Ed Helms, Alicia Keys, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Joel McHale, Olivia Munn and Snoop Dogg were on hand to demonstrate the features of Airtime at the launch party and people including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Jessica Alba have already been spotted using the service in the wild.

However, some technology pundits are cautioning that Airtime secretly takes photos of users and records their conversations.

Airtime says it does this in order to ensure its users are able to chat and collaborate in a safe environment.

Chatroulette — a website that randomly pairs strangers with live webcams — became infamous for attracting people who preferred to chat with their nether regions exposed, a fate that Airtime hopes to avoid.

Airtime is available now and does not require users to download specific software. It does, however, require you to have a webcam and to log in via Facebook Connect.

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