The main idea of Charoulette is to connect people to chat randomly with the help of a webcam and the internet.
Is it a success story? Yes, it is, as its founder, Andrey Ternovskiy has become rich and world famous and he has some plans to establish a company in the US (so he is about to be very rich), according to his interview in the New York Times. Yes, as the number of visitors has peeked at 1.5 million after 6 months of launching Chatroulette in November 2009. The word next has become a verb: if you are nexted, your chat partner has selected another chat partner. Furthermore, the idea of random connection with webcam has its followers, sites like Chatroulette are
just to name some of them.
Is Chatroulette a nice story? Well, not really. As according to some visitor recalls, it mainly gives videos of masturbating men or worse, instead of providing only nice experience of meeting interesting people all around the world. Besides adoration, Chatroulette has provoked indignation, as well.
What are the sanctions? So, from now on, there is an age limit of 16 for users on the site of Chatroulette, warnings of adult content appear on the entry page and some perverse users may end up being banned from the site for about 40 minutes or so. (Any other visitors without webcam and microphone connected are also denied from the site, of course.)
"No wonder lasts over three days." There are some other sites specialized on "adult content" that create their community of people of similar sexual orientation. There is another type of webcam-chat sites that try to collect some topics from visitors and then select the couples to chat from within the same topic, so that they have something common to chat about. A third type of site like Chatroulette reveals anonymity partially as it collects visitors from Facebook that displays some base user data.
Considering the idea of Chatroulette itself, it is brilliant: using all existing technological accessories and features, with the help of some coding, some high-end servers in Germany and continuous improvement in bandwidth, anyone can get a free chat to anyone selected randomly in the world, in any time. There are no other limits, no spatial distance, no hidden faces.
Anonymity has got two sides here. You can show yourself, you can see the face of others. But nobody will know your name, age, email address, occupation and location, if you do not want. You can change your chat partner any time, just clicking Next moving to the next user selected randomly. (You can also be nexted, by the way as it is mutual.)
Some people use it as a game, enjoying the excitement and play, maybe together with friends. Others take it seriously and try to date with others or to make connections. Or some people get addicted to it, eager to learn about the all happenings of the world in the same time. Others are just bored or curious to watch and hear others and to share part of their lives with them for awhile. The world is about sincere relationships with some excitement, isn't it? The self-made (and half-naked) showmen (with some partners) are just pure examples for this.