I'm sure many people feel the same way about Chatroulette as I do: Fun idea gone horribly, horribly wrong. In the approximately six hours I spent on the site (all in one night mind you), I made one interesting connection with cheerleaders during a cheer competition. They talked to my friends and me about the SEC Basketball Championship. Fun.
We asked them how many many male genitalia they had seen that evening. They said "about fifty-thousand." Yeah, us too, we replied. And that was always the problem with Chatroulette. Even when they attempted to clean up their act, the damage to their reputation had been done.
A new random video chat site launched today promises to provide a cleaner, more meaningful and user-friendly experience. Pick or Skip's format is as follows:
- Live video chat for as long as you want with a randomly selected partner.
- If you are not interested in your partner then you can press 'skip' to move on to the next.
- If you are interested in your partner and want to keep in contact then you can press 'pick.'
- By picking your partner, they will be saved in your connection list for future contact via video, conversations, instant messenger or private messages
- The decision to pick or skip can be made any time after the first 20 seconds.
Sounds familiar, however the features that stick out are the connection list and the 20-second minimum. With Pick or Skip, you can save favorite chat partners and talk to them more than once. You are also given a small window to make an impression on your randomly matched partner, avoiding the insta-skips that plagued Chatroulette.
Pick or Skip also allows users to narrow down their chat partners by categories such as sports, dating and politics as well as by languages such as French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.
The main selling point for the new site is their privacy and their method for reporting abuse. If it works like they plan, it could eliminate much of the risk of popping in on something that you truly didn't want to see. From Pick or Skip:
Online registration to the website provides security for all users. Pick or Skip then only connects their members without requiring users to initially disclose large amounts of personal information. Unlike the hundreds of existing socializing sites which force people to trust unreliable self descriptions, leading to false judgments being made on others, Pick or Skip is unique. Moreover, an efficient report abuse service prevents the problems of misconduct.
Pick or Skip will have to compete with other random video chat options. For instance, Rounds was launched in February and is one of a couple of chat options available on Facebook.