It's just you and the other guy, and, to some extent, either who you really are at your psychological core or who you want strangers to perceive you as.Internet anonymity often seems to bring out these traits in people: performers become more like their own hopeful external image, whilst most people, well, devolve from cultural taboos since one of the most prevalent has already been broken. Retention in this case is not just the user retention we usually talk about, but just whether or not you remember that the meme even exists.A lot of people cross the assimilation stage by solving a problem people have — think of any of the big products that you use day to day.Others assimilate through social means — think of things like social games.This psychosociological situation leaves a pretty distinct user profile in two demographics:1.Exhibitionists that have not yet been kicked off the site (Supposedly, Chatroulette will only ban you for 10-40 minutes)2.For many people, you're still roughly the same person.
If you don't care to know the details of why I think this is the case, Chatroulette is being choked by human genitals. For a more business-like perspective as to some of the problems of Chatroulette (which I'll touch on here from the standpoint of memetics, see )Memes grow through four evolutionary factors: assimilation, retention, expression and transmission. Let's examine how Chatroulette exists as a meme and then we'll be able to understand whether or not the meme can successfully propagate.
)I personally think that Chatroulette nailed itself on the assimilation stage through novelty — they gave people something they weren't used to seeing.
Culturally, we live in small social circles of friends and acquaintances; strangers are often interacted with but largely through transactional necessity (think about it: if I approached you on the street and you had no idea who I was, and I attempted to strike up a conversation with you, you'd most likely find me mentally unstable, if not just culturally taboo.) Chatroulette offered a subversion of common cultural interaction: everybody's a stranger, and you no longer have to worry about the things most people often worry about in social situations, such as ego and self-consciousness.
I will not go down this pathway — go look at evolutionary psychology for more on this. Or all the guys you knew in high school that simply hid their sexual desires in socially-acceptable, slightly-nuanced euphemism. As fellow men on the site, you're either completely disinterested by this since it has nothing to do with you, or you're trying to do the same thing and realising that there's a lot of competition.
As women on the site, you either think it's pretty damn gross or you'll try to ignore it and hope the next guy you meet isn't going to be so sexual, and then realise that a lot of the time he is.