If you aren’t familiar with Airtime and what this social platform is all about (or didn’t knew at all that it is a social platform) then let me break the news for you pal- You are a completely a normal person! In fact, I will even claim that if you actually do know Airtime, you probably more of tech-geek kind of guy/girl/androgynous.
So for all of you who didn’t followed the overly-enthusiastic blogosphere few months ago, let me summarize it briefly: After raising a whopping $30 million, the two black sheep/wonder boys of the tech world, Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning, launched the social video chat platform Airtime in an event that would not embarrass the Obama presidential campaign.
Celebrities from all across the rainbow have endorsed the new startup (for a symbolic fee of course) and bloggers ingratiatingly covered the new social networking site which was supposedly about to take over the web. Someone even wrote that “Airtime Will Re-Humanize The Internet” (which made me seriously speculate that a not-platonic bromance is cooking somewhere).
Watch out world, Airtime is coming and it will leave no survivors behind! (or something…)
But alas… After a few ultra high-trafficked days driven from the wide servile media coverage, Airtime didn’t took off as all the “ingenious” blogs suggested… Actually it was quite a debacle- Instead of the expected Curiosity type success, Airtime turned out to be more of a Mars Polar Lander…
This proves, once again, that sometimes there’s a huge conceptual gap between the media (the blogosphere in particular) and the consumers. Eventually, it is the media that has to fall in line with the consumers’ opinion and NOT the other way around. Thus, if the product isn’t quality and appealing enough to the “commoners”, it simply won’t stick even if the savvy aristocrats says otherwise.
However, to doom Airtime now would be just as stupid as glorifying it just because Snoop Dogg was at the launch party. The service is still VERY young and despite a rough start it can certainly get better with some new features and upgrades. Who knows? With the right (and probably acute) polishing it could even get broadly adopted.
And it seems that the folks at Airtime realized that too and added couple of more features to the social video platform: Deeper integration and sharing to Facebook/Twitter and improved sorted buddy list. Both of the new features looks pretty awesome and will definitely make the social video experience more seamless and convenient.
Will it be enough? I’m speculating that (still) no, but we’ll just have to wait for the masses’ vote for a definite answer. In any case, there’s a much greater lesson here- Marketing can be a nice booster but in the end what really is important is the product’s genuine value for the user. (so stop trying the stupid shenanigans for fuck’s sake!)