Napster creators launch social video chat service

  • Napster founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning have come together again to create a new service for friends to video-chat on the Internet.

    The pair launched Airtime at a star-studded event featuring appearances by actor Jim Carrey and late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon as well as live video chats with rapper Snoop Dogg and actress Olivia Munn.

    Airtime will be available to Facebook's 900 worldwide million users. Consumers must be registered with Facebook in order to use the service.

    Parker said Airtime was not being positioned as a rival to Facebook, adding he envisioned it to being used like a telephone in the future.

    Parker was an early supporter of Facebook and was played by singer/actor Justin Timberlake in the Oscar-winning movie The Social Network.

    In 1999, Parker and Fanning launched Napster, a file-sharing technology that devastated the traditional music industry as millions downloaded the software allowing them to illegally share songs for free.

    A series of lawsuits from major music companies eventually forced the site to shut down.