Chatroulette: Less than the Original, More of the Same
Nearly a week overdue, the infamous video chat site, Chatroulette, Version 2, is up and running. Last week's message touted the site was no longer an "experiment" but this morning's result looks even more experimental than the original version.
While reports indicated that 17-year-old founder Andrei Terovskiy was working with Silicon Valley bigwigs to make the site more attractive to investors and advertisers, Chatroulette improvements are difficult to spot. Users can now adjust the relative sizes of their chat windows, but navigation labels are missing. To "Next" a partner, try the unmarked gray bar below the chat window. Except for the windows and the bar, the interface has been stripped.
Visits to the site peaked over the past seven days. Alexa, a web traffic analytics site, reported a nearly 50 percent increase in traffic following five months of decline. Most likely the increase was due to the curious who wanted to see what changes had been made to the site. Chatroulette visitors are disproportionately young American males, according to Alexa. Since its relaunch, user reports have been consistent: chances of an explicit encounter still run about 50 percent.
It may be that Chatroulette did not go down for construction, but rather to patch a security hole that allowed RudesterRoulette.com to hack into Chatroulette and pull selected users that fit its more explicit community profile. This site is up and running.
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