Archive for viral

ChatRoulette: Craze or Continuing?

Posted in Social Media Marketing with tags , , , , , on February 26, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

I wrote a post about FourSquare, so I figure ChatRoulette needs a mention as well. ChatRoulette is a site that connects you with random webcams all over the world. Like actual Roulette, it is a gamble because you never know who is going to appear on your screen when you hit the “next” button. Unlike FourSquare (which hasn’t been creepy for me yet), the little experience I have had with ChatRoulette has, in fact, proven to be creepy. Like most unregulated video sites, you are sure to stumble upon something sexual when you hit the “next” button.

However the site is still intriguing despite the weird and creepy factor. It brings back the element of surprise and who you are and your whereabouts remain completely anonymous.  People use it out of boredom, for the shock factor and for a sense of voyeurism. You almost get a thrill out of peering into a stranger’s life through your computer.  The site has gained significant popularity since its launch and it seems to be the thing that everyone is talking about at the moment. So what does that mean? That marketers want to be there of course.

The thing about ChatRoulette is that it is live, so it isn’t the same as making a Youtube video and having it going viral. There have been some notable ChatRoulette conversations that have gone viral on YouTube though. (I would post them on here, but like the majority of ChatRoulette, they are inappropriate..so search for them at your own risk). The two that I have seen were for Comedy.com and Comfortwipe. The one for Comedy.com featured a man dressed as a giant penis dancing and holding up a sign that read Comedy.com. The Comfortwipe one just showed a Comfortwipe infomercial type video on loop and all of the live viewer reactions.

While there is potential for marketers to do something eye-catching for their product on live streaming webcam, it seems like Comedy.com and Comfortwipe have filled this niche. It is possible for companies to create some type experiential campaign where they go on and do something eye-catching but it almost doesn’t seem worth it because you are only hitting one viewer at a time and you never know what type of demographic you are going to get.

In my opinion, Chatroulette is a place where you go and you see a stranger on a webcam, feel a little awkward and curious then go about your daily business. I think it is just a craze that people are curious about because it is new. It encourages interaction but in my opinion, is not the next big thing for marketers.

www.chatroulette.com

A Movie About Chatroulette

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