An Initial Survey

by Alex Leavitt & Tim Hwang

with Patrick Davison, Mike Edwards, Devin Gaffney, Sam Gilbert, Erhardt Graeff, Jennifer Jacobs, Dan Luxemburg, Kunal Patel, Mike Rugnetta, & Karina van Schaardenburg


This paper represents an initial study of, conducted between February 6th and 7th, 2010 by researchers in attendance at Web Ecology Camp III in Brooklyn, NY. We sampled 201 ChatRoulette sessions, noting characteristics such as group size and gender. We also conducted 30 brief interviews with users to inquire about their age, location, and frequency of ChatRoulette use.


• ChatRoulette represents an example of a probabilistic community: a community shaped by a platform which mediates the encounters between its users by eliminating lasting connections between them.

• After ChatRoulette users become more acquainted with the system (ie., do not browse solely to explore), we predict a decrease in explicit content, an increase in the consolidation of content genres, and an increase in the formation of celebrity figures.

• Our survey shows that ChatRoulette’s current community continues to consist of males age 18-24, concurrent with Alexa data.

You can download our report here.