Airtime, the online video chat company started by Sean Parker, is getting into the game watching segment after it added support for live-streaming service Twitch.
The service is designed as a kind of digital clubhouse for hanging out with your buddies. It already lets users jointly watch media like YouTube or Spotify, but now it is adding Twitch — which Amazon bought for around $1 billion in 2013 — to the mix. Twitch users, as we reported earlier this year, watch more videos each month than the average YouTube user does.
“Twitch has revolutionized the way we enjoy our favorite games, and now with Airtime, you can enjoy that same content in an intimate setting with your closest friends. For the first time, Airtime lets you video chat while you watch your favorite Twitch streams live — even Pokémon GO!,” Airtime wrote in a blog post.
It’s been a busy year for Airtime. The company relaunching its service in April, introducing new iOS and Android apps to put the focus on mobile, while it snapped up WebRTC startup vLine a month later to help ensure that call quality is good and latency is minimal. Clearly user experience is sink or swim for services like Airtime, so bulking up on talent that make it feel like your friends are right there with you is essential if the app is going to have a shot at becoming popular.
Lest we forget that Airtime was plagued with technical problems when it first arrived in 2012. In an embarrassing moment, Airtime glitched out while Parker demoed it to a big audience full of reporters at its star-studded launch event in New York. It took several tries to get a video call to Snoop Dogg to go through.