Chatroulette, Anonymous-Webcam-Chat-Website, Shut Down

The Internet’s most famous anonymous chat/naked person viewing website Chatroulette has been taken down.

The site, which gained incredible popularity in late March 2010, was used as a vehicle for (mostly) guys who wanted to, um, show you what they were made of (hey, I’m trying to keep this PG-13. If you’ve visited the site, you know what men were doing on there).  But as with many flash-in-the-pan websites, people simply stopped going to it. Even after it was shut down for a week in August 2010 with promises of a “renewed and updated version” of the site, people had lost interest. That, and people were tired of seeing the same thing over and over and over.

Alright, enough beating around the bush (ha, pun INTENDED!): Men were using the site primarily to show everyone their penises. Parents across the country criticized the site for how easy it was to discover sexual content.  The website was designed to let strangers across the globe chat with one another anonymously, but unlike, which was simply a chat engine, Chatroulette used webcams. Anyone who thought dudes wouldn’t whip it out on camera was being, well, naïve.

The Russian founder of Chatroulette, Andrey Ternovskiy, had luck with the fast rise to popularity that Chatroulette garnered.  Not only was he written up in a New Yorker feature, he was also taken under the wing of New York venture capitalist Fred Wilson, who wrote a letter fast tracking Ternovskiy’s visa to visit the U.S.  He was also set up in a Palo Alto apartment by Shervin Pishevar, the founder of Social Gaming Network (and an “informal investor” in Chatroulette), and Napster inventor Shawn Fanning became his informal advisor (Fanning has since “resigned” from said informal role).

Due to the declining number of visitors, it’s safe to say the site won’t be missed much. I checked out the site once or twice (ultra-anonymously, as my dinosaur computer doesn’t even have a webcam), and the best thing I saw that came from the site wasn’t even from those visits – it was from some other blog that wrote about “Merton” – the Piano Improv Chatroulette Guy. If you haven’t seen Chatroulette, you don’t have a chance now, but these videos of Merton being absolutely hilarious will give you an idea of what the website was all about:






RIP, Chatroulette.

Categories: Web Sites

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