Chatroulette was launched back in 2009 and has since become one of the most popular webcam-based random chat services online today. This extremely clean and simple site matches random users from across the world for cam chats with sound included.
The Chatroulette Brand
The Chatroulette brand is almost inexistent – the site doesn’t contain any company information or even show a brand logo. It’s just your webcam – a stranger’s webcam – and that’s it! The most amount of communication you get from the site is the following line:
“I am Chatroulette. To continue, you need to give access to your camera and microphone.”
It’s amazing to think that despite this non-marketing approach and lack of brand material, Chatroulette is still so widely known and notorious within the web chat world! This is about as simple as it gets, so perhaps simplicity is the reason for the site’s success?
With Chatroulette there is no registration required at all – you just need to give the site permission to access your webcam and microphone. Click continue and away you go! It couldn’t be simpler!
Chatroulette works on mobile just as well as it does on desktop – great news for those of you wanting to connect with random strangers whilst on the move. Why would you want to do this? We have no idea! But it’s still a lot of fun nonetheless!
This section of our review is separated into two parts – desktop and mobile. Let’s start with the ‘not so great’ and focus on the user experience of the desktop site. Our own experience was a pretty bad one in all honesty. The desktop site frequently froze and failed on numerous attempts to connect to our webcam. We have used this site once before and know what it is all about; it is just unfortunate that on this occasion the webcam did not load!
This is certainly not the case for the mobile site, which is a lot better in terms of connection speed and loading time. A really interesting feature of this site is the facial recognition software. A face has to be detected in your webcam screen before you are connected to another person. This helps to maintain a good user experience and ensures actual people are at the other end of the camera – and not just ‘other things’.
Safety and Security
Absolutely anyone using absolutely any chat service online today should exercise some form of caution and due-diligence when chatting online. As much as it is the responsibility of site owners to protect their members, it’s also your responsibility as a user to ensure you do not get involved in dangerous/suspicious/unlawful activities online.
The best thing about Chatroulette – if you don’t like the look or vibe of the person you are talking to – just click NEXT and move on to the next person! So as far as safety and security are concerned – Chatroulette is quite harmless and should cause you no security concerns whatsoever.
The only other bit of text available on the site relates to customer service, and we use the term ‘service’ very lightly. In the bottom left-hand corner of the site there is an email address that you can use if you have any questions or issues with the site.
How quick and efficient the response will be remains to be seen. Judging from the material available on site, we don’t have high hopes! We are still waiting for a response for our camera connectivity issue on the desktop site – so not a good sign!
Overall, using the Chatroulette website is as easy as clicking one button. That is because, effectively, this is all you need to do! So when it comes to ease of use, this is probably the easiest chat service we have used to date. This also helps to boost the user experience and the value of the user journey – which we also can’t complain about too much. There are some minor connectivity issues for some desktop users, but aside from this the user experience is actually pretty good.
Chatroulette lets itself down by failing to provide a comprehensive customer support service or any interesting additional features. This is purely a random cam chat service and nothing else, with no option to create a profile or socialise in any other way. For this reason, Chatroulette is more of a gimmick and a spot of fun, rather than a place to build any meaningful relationships or friendships with other people.
Chatroulette is a good laugh, and a real shocker at times. But once the novelty wears off this site can become monotonous very quickly. That’s why we’re giving Chatroulette a score of 4.5!