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Airtime may have launched with a bang, but its end was eerily quiet: Sean Parker’s video chat startup, which once aimed to become the next Chatroulette, shut down its web app some time during the last month, and no one even noticed, or bothered to complain.
The site was still up and running in mid-August, according to the Internet Archive, but has since been replaced by a placeholder site that asks us to “stay tuned,” and lists a number of jobs on both coasts. There’s no mention of the shut-down on Airtime’s blog, which was last updated two years ago, or its long-abandoned Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Even more striking: I couldn’t find a single mention of it on Twitter — it looks like users had given up on the site long ago, and no one even bothered to check if it’s still around. I sent Airtime an email, asking when exactly the web app was taken offline, but have yet to hear back, and will update this story once I do.
Airtime made a big splash when it launched two years ago, but for all the wrong reasons: The launch event featured tons of celebrities, but was plagued with technical problems, leading to a pretty substantial backlash from users and tech press alike. Airtime also could never really formulate why it was different or better than any of the other video chat services out there, and quickly became a prime example for failed startups from celebrity founders.
However, the company kept going, and quietly launched a mobile video chat service dubbed OkHello that seems to be doing a lot better than Airtime ever did — which makes you wonder why it took AirTime so long to pull the plug on its web app.