Whether it is all the media attention or there are just a lot of lonely people out there with a deep need to talk to strangers, Chatroulette is on a roll. In February, 2010, the young site attracted 3.9 million visitors worldwide, up from 944,000 in January, 2010, according to the latest data from comScore (see chart above). Google Trends for Websites shows a similar growth curve, with about 500,000 unique daily visitors.
The quadrupling of visitors measured by comScore coincided with the relatively new site being discovered by news sites and blogs. It may just indicate the intense level of curiosity about the site, which matches random people together in a simple video chat environment. When you get bored (or creeped out) you can click to start a new session. Or it may be tapping into the basic human need to communicate. It gives “instant communications” a whole new meaning.
ComScore also estimates that the average visit on Chatroulette lasted 2.8 minutes, up from 2.4 minutes in January. And the average visitor spent a total of 10.4 minutes on the site during the month, suggesting between three and four visits each. Other data we’ve published indicates that Chatroulette is 89 percent male and 13 percent perverts (there are a lot of naked guys hanging out on Chatroulette flashing each other).
The site already had its Daily Show moment and is inspiring some viral videos like the now-famous Chatroulette piano improv guy, Merton (see below). Can Chatroulette keep growing, or is it a fad fueled by nothing more than idle curiosity?
Chatroulette! is a web site that allows users to connect to and video chat with random (site-chosen) users. It was developed by Andrey Ternovskiy of Moscow. The idea may have been influenced by Omegle, a similar service for text chat only. Chatroulette uses seven high-end servers all located in Frankfurt, Germany. Network throughput is 7 gigabits a second. The application uses Adobe Flash Player, and the RTMFP peer-to-peer technology acquired from Amicima and introduced in Flash Player 10.0. From now on...