“ Chat room with webcam „
**What Is Chatroulette?**
Chatroulette is a website that allows people to connect to eachother at random and communicate via their webcams, microphones or by simply typing. The website was launched in late 2009 by Andrey Ternovskiy, then 17. He designed the website in just two days after being inspired by Skype's video chat and the website soon became hugely popular. Within two months of its release, it was getting 50,000 users per day which is just mind blowing. Chatroulette is a worldwide website, but studies have shown that a majority of the users are American or French. Studies have also shown that the site is mainly used by males, and according to one study published in March 2010, 89% of users were male while just 11% were female. The study also showed various other intresting stuff, which can be found on the site's wikipedia page.
**Layout and Using The Site**
Chatroulette is a very easy to use site due to the simple layout and navigation options. The only thing that you need to use the site is Adobe Flash installed on your computer and preferably a webcam and microphone, however these two items are optional. To use the site, you simply go onto it and you will be greeted with the web page. The layout is very minimalistic but it's reasonably attractive and the colour scheme (grey and white) is unisex.
The webcams are on the left hand side and the chat room is on the right hand side, there is no option of changing the colour or size of your font but I find the font easy to read. The navigation buttons are in the top left corner, these are very important as they give you the option to disconnect from the person you are talking to if they are broadcasting inaproppiate content. There is also an option to customize your profile on there, such as your name, age, skype, location, phone number, favourite music etc. This is optional and can be left blank. The site is quite lightweight and very fast, I have never had issues with it freezing or anything like that.
Chatroulette is quite a well known website within my group of friends and it's a bit of a private joke amongst most of us as it's such a rude (but funny) website. Alot of people have no idea what this website is, and it's quite hard to describe. The concept is simple but somewhat disturbing if i'm honest, as there are so many loonies around! Basically, chatroulette is a website which pairs two strangers up at random; you and another person, and lets them talk to eachother via their webcams and microphones. You don't have to have a microphone or webcam, however it's definetly a plus side to have a webcam as that way people are more likely to stop and talk to you rather than just 'nexting' you.
I have been going on chatroulette now for around a year, and in that time I have seen some pretty odd, and at times disturbing stuff. Alot of people are just silly or a little inapropiate but a few people go to the next level and broadcast very graphic, violent and sometimes illegal content such as videos of people fighting, gorey videos or unusual/disgusting pornographic videos. I have no idea how people do this but people obviously have a way of manipulating the system to let them broadcast videos in place of their webcam, which I think the site needs to tackle.
I also think that the site should ban people who aren't actually broadcasting themselves on their webcams, as alot of people seem to just have a message that they've written on paint saying stuff such as 'show me your boobs'. There is a spam button on the top of the chat which you click on if you feel uncomfortable with someone's broadcast and it will report them. I like that chatroulette ban people from their site, unlike similar websites who let the people who spoil it for everyone else continue lurking around.
I wouldn't reccomed going onto this site if you're sensitive or self concious, as many people decide that they want to throw insults; i've been called all sorts of names on there but you seriously just have to laugh - it's not a site to be taken seriously. Another obvious downside is the amount of perverts on the website who show their genitals on their webcam rather than their face like any normal person would. I can understand the 'thrill' that some people must get from doing it, however the amount of people doing it is absolutely shocking as around 95 percent of the people on the site are either naked or exposing themselves. I must admit though it's pretty funny at times and the option to next people comes in very handy; it can become a bit of a 'mission' with me and a friend to find a normal person to speak to, this will usually take around ten minutes, but it's worth it.
I have had some really nice conversations on chatroulette and it's provided plenty of laughs. It's fun to play games on there such as truth or dare etc and it passes the time. If you make a connection (relationship wise) with someone then there is nothing stopping you from sharing your skype or phone number, and I regulary talk to a few people via skype that I met originally on chatroulette. Most are American, including 2 soldiers, but one is Greek and one is French and they're all lovely, it's nice to talk to someone 'new' with different life experiences, and if it wasn't for chatroulette i'd never of gotten the chance.
This is a good site to pass the time, it's got a good range of different people on it who can be intresting, funny or just plain weird. It is not a site I would reccomend to spend much time on as it simply isn't healthy in my opinion (I prefer talking to 'real' people in person), but for the odd 20 minutes when you're feeling bored or want someone to talk to, this is ideal. It's also a good site to go on if you want a bit of a laugh with some friends, or even if you're after a bit of no strings attatched virtual fun. The disadvantages highly outweigh the advantages, and I would only reccomend this website to people who aren't offended by nudity and are over atleast 16.
I had heard about ChatRoulette for a while and last night I had time to kill and an exam to procrasinate for so I figured - what do I have to lose?
In a sentence, ChatRoulette puts you into a video chat with a random stranger. You can then next the person at any time to be replaced with another completely random person.
=== What should you expect? ===
Predictably the vast majority of participants are young men/teenagers sat alone in their bedroom staring, glassy-eyed into their webcam with a faint look of boredom. Ironically, exactly what I was doing.
Other than that, a lot of people go on in groups, usually teenagers. Couple of lads getting drunk in for an evening or a couple girls just killing time.
The demographics, from the study featured in the video at the bottom found that ChatRoulette consists of 70% males, 15% females and 15% perverts which I think is fairly accurate, although I didn't see that many perverts myself (I'll get onto that later).
=== Pros ===
- My first and main positive point, which is actually what makes this site so great is that you will meet some really interesting people. I had some great conversations. One guy was absolutely convinced I was in his freshman English class. Many only lasted a couple of minutes but one I had with two girls from New Jersey went on for over an hour until their webcam froze. It sounds cheesy but making other people laugh can't help but make you feel good. Also, being told your pretty damn good looking every once in a while doesn't hurt.
It's probably the closest you can get to real human interaction over the internet.
- Let's be honest, it's a really really cool idea. It's like a scaled-down version of The Truman Show.
=== Cons ===
- Unless your a pretty girl or doing some kind of trick, (for example, there's a guy called Merton who sings songs and plays the piano for you then uploads the video to Youtube) you WILL get nexted A LOT. At least 8/10 people will next you within two seconds of seeing your face. This can be a bit of a kicker to your self-esteem, especially if it's someone you particularly want to talk to. Don't take it personally, most people are only looking for a certain kind of person/people. I'm sure a lot of people don't even think about it before they do it. This can be tiresome though if it goes on for a while.
- ChatRoulette has almost become synonymous with seeing the male genitals. However, this has been exaggerated, although you probably will see a couple. During my three hour session, I only saw about three penises which I immediately skipped. On a sidenote, since there is no moderation there's a worrying amount of children viewing the site.
- There are people who use an application called ManyCam to fake a webcam feed. They then display a shock image like Goatse or Lemonparty then film your reactions with a screencamera. The more patient ones will use stolen webcam footage of a cute girl or celebrities and coerce you into doing something ridiculous or halfway through she explodes or a scary face pops up or whatever. Just take precautions, ask them to wave at the camera, watch when they're typing etc.
- A minor one but communication is often difficult as you frequently end up with people from non-English speaking countries like Russia.
Great video about ChatRoulette (not mine, remove the space that Dooyoo forces on me for some reason):
If you know of Skype, this is what it was based on. (if not, look up Skype on here, there are some great reviews). As a wesbsite, it's only been active for about 8 months, but there's been a fair bit of media buzz surrounding it on account of reports that celebs like Ashton Kutcher and Paris Hilton use it (although I defy anyone to find Mr Kutcher amongst the orgy of sexual activity).
It's an online chat service that feeds your webcam and sound directly through to another person at random, in return you see theirs. You are then given the chance to talk to this stranger, or, in a rather blunt way, press F9 and quickly 'Next' them. The idea itself is a great way of giving people confidence and introducing people to other cultures (although the site is about 49% Americans), but I suppose you could put it down to being created by a 17 year old that the security is so low.
Some basic figures from earlier this year pretty much summarise Chatroulette - 76% of the random selection were male, 11% no person, and 13% female.
Quite simply, Chatroulette is vulgar. And quite alarmingly, you come across girls and boys who can't be older than 13 (often sat with friends) on this site. The site has no enforcments to stop this or the 'perverts'. (Aside from an optinional 'report' button which blocks a person for 40 minutes when they are reported for such activity '3 times in 5 minutes')
As an actual site, it's not bad, the design is hugely simple and the speed is fair for what it is (with the occaisional lag) with a revenue made from very small dating ads. You have to give credit to the teenager who managed to make it.
Personally, I think it's something for parents to look out for to ensure their children are not using it. But at the same time, when you're feeling kind of immature, it's a hilarious site. What's more, you meet genuinely funny, interesting people. I've come across people who act out a sequence of emotions then next you before you have a chance to clap them and people that have asked me to rate a series of hats. And why lie; it does wonders for a girl's ego (...as long as you next before 'you're beautiful' is followed by 'will you show me your breasts?').
Late one night, me and the flat mates were bored, so, on my friend's laptop we enabled her webcam and logged onto chat roulette. Well roulette it was!
Well over half of the people were men, who were masturbating, with another 25% solely on the site, with this being the expected result of having a conversation with girls.
However that is not to say that every person or even man on this website only has that on his mind. I have had fantastic conversations with people all round the world, which I have found not only fascinating, but has kept me entertained when being bored. Unfortunately it takes time and patience, to find these genuine people on the site, but honestly they do exist.
Being thick skinned is also an essential for going on this site, as members are quick to 'next' you, i.e. decide they do not want to talk to you, purely because of your physical appearance. I have often found people holding signs, in a bid to make you stop, laugh, and talk to them, and it is usually these people who you have entertaining conversations with.
I would recommend this site, for those who are over 18, due to a large amount of explicit content, and those who are prepared to drudge through the explicit content in hope of a entertaining conversation.
N.B. I have friends who have claimed to have spoken to celebrities such as The Jonas Brothers via this site, I have yet to have such luck!