Profile: Jeremy Gilley

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Sean Parker launches video social network

Sean Parker, Napster’s co-founder and an early investor in Facebook, has launched his own social network that encourages users to interact with each other via video chat.

Airtime acts in a similar way to free video chat phenomenon Chatroulette, but allows users to connect with their Facebook friends as well as strangers based on shared interests and location proximity. The site also allows users to share content such as YouTube videos, with more options such as games coming soon

Unlike Chatroulette, Airtime says it has built automatic “abuse prevention” filters into the service to prevent vulgar content from appearing on the site.

The team behind Airtime, which also includes Parker’s fellow Napster co-founder Shawn Fanning, plan to monetise the service by selling advertising or virtual goods once it has built up its user base.

Speaking at Airtime’s launch event, which was attended by celebrities including Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys and Jim Carrey, Parker said Airtime was built in an attempt to move the internet’s social graph into an “interest graph”.

He added: “Facebook isn’t helping you make new connections, Facebook doesn’t develop new relationships, Facebook is just trying to be the most accurate model of your social graph. There’s part of me that feels somewhat bored by all of this. There’s no room for serendipity.

Airtime has already reportedly raised $33m (£21m) in funding and employs about 30 people in its San Francisco base. Parker still retains a stake that is thought to be about $2.65bn (£1.7bn) in Facebook.

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