For anyone that doesn't know the history of the origins of Facebook, this story might have slipped under your radar. But in social media circles, it has some significance. Sean Parker, Facebook's founding president who will be portrayed by Justin Timberlake in the upcoming flick, "The Social Network," has indicated interest in assisting the 17 year-old wunderkind and founder of Chatroulette, Andrey Ternovskiy.
Sean ParkerWhile Parker still has some ownership in Facebook, he and Mark Zuckerberg have since parted ways. As one of the founders of Napster and subsequently Plaxo, Parker has had the tech panache and venture capitalistic savvy to sniff out the next new "shiny" thing. Facebook obviously was one of his finest hours. It's been thought that Zuckerberg and Facebook may not be where they are today, without the assistance of Parker.
The question is will he will be able to create the same magic with Chatroulette? The 'video chat' sensation that has been titillating for some but off-putting for others - due to its users' tendency to let it all hang out - has not been able to launch a successful business model to date.
Released at Techonomy Conference on August 6, Parker told moderator David Kirkpatrick that he sees long-term potential for the service. His interest lies in the fact that nobody has really nailed down the power of live video, even though other services like Tiny Chat and 6rounds already have successful monetization models in place.
According to Jennifer Van Grove's Mashable report, she indicated that Parker thinks Chatroulette's future "will focus on algorithmically directing more traffic to the people that are most interesting in order to eliminate the 'penis problem.' Parker was quoted as saying, "One way of defining ‘more interesting’ is simply [identifying] who doesn’t get ‘nexted’."
During the final sessions of the Techonomy conference, Kirkpatrick conversed with Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and Sean Parker. While Parker started out talking about 'Facebook Causes,' Kirkpatrick was able to prompt Parker to elaborate on his involvement with Chatroulette and his recent obsession with live video and webchat technology.
After listening to this exchange, it's interesting that Parker's observations focus on the 'video chat' space lacking functionality and the ability to talk in 'multiple user' conference settings. However these features are included with Tiny Chat, and even more so with 6rounds - which offers game, music and special effects components. So is Parker late to the party, and will these other early movers push out Chatroulette - or is there still yet something new that can enhance this technology? Your thoughts.
For more insight on 'video chat' technology and the developments that have occurred in this space over the last six months, I refer you to my previous posts on Chatroulette, Tiny Chat and 6rounds.