The founders of Napster, Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning, have launched this month Airtime.com, a live video chat service hoooked into Facebook, which "it brings a human touch to Internet-based communication". In a way, it reminds to Chatroulette, the random video-chatting services.
In addition, Airtime faces competitors like Microsoft's Skype, Apple's FaceTime, Google's Hangouts, and social-minded start ups like ooVoo, Ustream and TinyChat among others.
Analysts quoted by the New York Times say that while video-chat services may be picking up in popularity, they may never be quite as mainstream as other methods of communication, like texting, e-mailing or sending instant messages. "There are still a number of social inhibitors to video chat that have nothing to do with technology. People worry wheter their hair is looking good and if they have to get dressed before taking a call," says an analyst at Gartner.
Also, I would add, you need a speedy Internet connection, which is not happening when you are on the go.
Sean Parker, who was the founding president of Facebook and was instrumental in helping Mark Zuckerberg expand that site, described the current repertory of social Web experiences as "boring."
Airtime.com has already raised $40 million in venture financing and added prominent board members, including Robert Pittman, the CEO of Clear Channel and founder of MTV.