He argues that it’s a throwback to the web’s early days. We forget how much of the web’s past was random uncurated stuff. It’s probably also obvious to say that anonymity is central ChatRoulette’s success. “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog” with a big twist.
The median age seems to hover around 20, and males outnumber females probably twenty to one. Sex is ever-present, whether insinuated or enacted. (My wife sat in front of the webcam for a while, and it was suddenly, disturbingly, a much friendlier world.) People are endlessly soliciting nudity, both in person and via signs (“FLASH TITS FOR HAITI,” etc.). Roughly one out of every ten chatters is a naked masturbating man, and even they will usually hang up on you, one-handedly, before you can click away. The default interaction on ChatRoulette is roughly three seconds long: assessment, micro-interaction, “next.”