When will Chatroulette be fixed? That’s a question on the mind of many of its users, judging from our referral logs. The answer, however, is uncertain. Chatroulette went offline this weekend, with a message proclaiming that “(t)he experiment #1 is over now.” The site first promised a “(r)enewed and updated version” for Monday. However, it’s now Wednesday, and Chatroulette is still down, now merely promising a relaunch “shortly.”
So what’s a bored Chatroulette user gotta do? Look for some group video chat alternatives. Here are a few sites worth a try:
Please note that there’s a high chance to encounter nudity in some form or another on these sites. We don’t recommend frequenting them at work, or at all if you’re under 18.
Shufflepeople is a Chatroulette clone that has been fairly successful in copying the original. It’s currently frequented by more than 4,000 people at a time, if the counter is to be trusted. The site features the ability to report people, but that doesn’t stop the occasional exhibitionist. 18+ only, and definitely NSFW.
Camstumble is also fairly close to the original Chatroulette idea, but the site also offers group chat rooms, including several adult-themed ones, which also makes this 18+ only and NSFW.
Hey-People offers users a few dedicated channels based on their interests, including “small talk,” “dating” and “adult.” Keeping adult conversations apart from regular chats seems like a good idea, and the ability to friend users and reconnect to them at a later date sounds interesting s well. Unfortunately, it looks like hardly anyone is actually using this site. 18+ only, NSFW.
Chatville is a Facebook application that lets you chat with random other Facebook users. You can also invite any of your Facebook friends for a one-on-one chat, and the app makers are apparently working on an integrated video capture feature. However, it doesn’t look like this is used by many users. Safe for work, if it’s working.
Stickam Shuffle is one of the few Chatroulette clones that has been successful at ridding itself of nudity. It can only be used with a Stickam account and features a bunch of social rewards that make it feel more like a Facebook app than a chatting service at times. Safe for work.
Sites like these can be a fun way to waste a few minutes, but they might also give us an idea of how the next version of Chatroulette will look like. Chatroulette founder Andrey Ternowskiy hasn’t responded to requests for comment this week, but he told NewTeeVee in July that he wanted to completely get rid of text chats and instead embrace a new kind of telepresence, and said that local and topical Chatroulette channels could eventually be the site’s “holy grail.”
Related content on GigaOm Pro (sub req’d): Report: The Consumer Video Chat Market, 2010–2015