Could Airtime be the Next Big Thing in Toronto Business Marketing?

If the names Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning sounded familiar to you when their new project Airtime hit the web earlier this week, there’s good reason. Way back in 1998, the two of them were the founders of NAPSTER, the world’s first popular, free file sharing program and arguably the fastest growing company ever. In the years since NAPSTER ceased being a free service, Parker and Fanning have gone their separate ways within the tech industry, but are now reunited with an online video chat program called Airtime.

Airtime works in connection with your Facebook account, and the information you make viewable on it, to find and people with whom you share common interests. When we first saw this come online, we immediately saw its promising future as a tool for Toronto business marketing. Since it looks at your Facebook account to determine your interests, and in today’s society everyone wants everyone else to know exactly what they’re interested in so they list everything on their profile, this can be huge for businesses looking to connect their customers to one another as well as the potential for gaining new customers.

For example, if you own an Italian restaurant a number of people may list your business by name as an interest but even more are going to list ‘Italian food’ as an interest. When one of your customers is connected to a non-customer via this mutual interest, it’s inevitable that the conversation will turn to their favorite place to get food, and you’ve just gained a new customer who, assuming your food is good, will spread the word to their friends and family.

In addition to its future as a Toronto business marketing tool, Airtime claims to have solved many of the problems that have plagued its predecessors such as chat roulette with the addition of algorithms which will allegedly detect inappropriate usage and shunt the video to a human operator to be analyzed and dealt with if there is in fact a problem.