We’ve always intended for Airtime to be many things, but above all, we set out to build the best platform for video conversation. Today we are beginning the testing process with a limited public release of a number of new features that further this goal.
The first feature we’re beta testing is video posts. With the click of a button, you can record and post a video using your webcam to start a public video conversation. Grab the link to your video post and share it to Facebook or Twitter or via email and anyone can respond on Airtime with their own video. The original post and all subsequent video replies can be viewed in one screen.
Recording a video yourself isn’t the only way to start a video conversation, though. One of the most popular activities on the web is sending or posting a link to an amusing YouTube video. But until now, it’s been difficult to see people’s responses to the videos, and those are often as entertaining as the original video. On Airtime, you can search for and post a YouTube video to start a video conversation, then wait for your friends’ video replies to roll in.
When you log in to Airtime now, you’ll find the most recent posts from your friends or replies to posts on the homepage along the lefthand side. You can browse through your friends’ video conversations and jump in on any that interest you.
Most modern communication platforms seem to enable both public and private conversation. From the beginning we’ve enabled private video conversation, allowing you to video chat with any of your friends (Airtime or Facebook) by finding them in the buddy list on the right. Today we’ve updated the buddy list in a few ways to make it more useful.
First, clicking on any person in your buddy list will now display your complete call, video message, and text message history with that person, sorted chronologically. You can replay any video messages that were sent to you from that communications log.
Second we’ve separated the buddy list into three groups, in descending order of real-time accessibility, from top to bottom. The top section, Available, list those people logged into Airtime at that moment. They’re the most likely to be reachable for a direct call at that moment. The second group, Idle, are those who are listed as online on Facebook. You can call them and we’ll let them know you’re calling with a Facebook message. Those who aren’t online on Airtime or Facebook are listed at the bottom.
Lastly, the Buddy List has been optimized to be faster. Searching for a specific contact’s name now returns results much more quickly than before.
We’ll be testing and making improvements to this new functionality in the coming weeks, so if you get a chance to use these features, please do not hesitate to send your feedback/bug requests/etc. We’re eager to hear from you!
The Airtime Team