TechCrunch Crunches Chatroulette Stats

CYBERSPACE—Whether Chatroulette turns out to be a passing fad or not, the scattershot and anonymous video chat phenomenon is pulling down some pretty impressive numbers as it winds its way through the upper and lower colon of the mainstream media.

But who exactly is using that damn thing? Well, guess no more. The obnoxiously inquisitive people at TechCrunch—and we say obnoxious with the utmost respect—have, er, crunched the numbers for Chatroulette.  Actually, Robert J. Moore, CEO and co-founder of RJMetrics, crunched the numbers, but who’s counting?

“We were itching to study Chatroulette in a RJMetrics Dashboard,” Moore wrote in a Tuesday post on TC, “but no one seemed to have any good data for us to explore. So, we decided [to] compile the data ourselves by leveraging Chatroulette Map, some scrappy programming, and a passionate tech community. We soon had detailed data on 2,883 Chatroulette sessions that tied users to geography, gender, appearance, and more."

Some of the findings included:

* About half of all Chatroulette spins connects you with someone from the USA. The next most likely country is France at 15 percent.

* Of the spins showing a single person, 89 percent were male and 11 percent were female.

* You are more likely to encounter a webcam featuring no person at all than one featuring a solo female.

* 8 percent of spins showed multiple people behind the camera. 1 in 3 females appear as part of such a group. That number is 1 in 12 for males.

* 1 in 8 spins yield something R-rated (or worse).

* You are twice as likely to encounter a sign requesting female nudity than you are to encounter actual female nudity.

The post includes a caveat about the absolute accuracy of the stats, but considering the dearth of information about how Chatroulette actually works the results are as close as we will get for now to an analysis of its users.

“Scarcity of the data made this project both challenging and exciting,” concludes Moore. “In an ideal world, it would be great to analyze things like average session length based on different attributes, chat user return rates, cohort analysis, and more. Because of the mostly-anonymous nature of Chatroulette, that data will be hard to come by. For now, at least you have a better idea of what you will see when you hit that Next button.”

It will likely be a young American dude, however, which may in the end spell trouble for Chatroulette as sausage fests have a way of eventually petering out, if you know what we mean.

The original post includes more information and a few pie charts, available here.