There are a lot of people on the Internet. There are so many that we felt compelled to make an infographic of Internet Penetration a couple of weeks ago. In total, 420 million people in China are online, followed 337 million in the EU and 239 million in the U.S.
We have plenty of social networks to say hi to people that we have established connections with like on Facebook and Twitter, and we have websites to say hi to people we don’t even know like on Chatroulette. But what if we want to say hi to people that we don’t know, in a less random way; to connect with strangers over common aspirations and topics? Now we have AnybodyOutThere, a free service that “helps you find the right people to talk with about whatever’s on your mind.”
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It’s an easy site to use, just connect via Facebook and post a thought, topic or question in the post box, click Talk and the site will link you up with other like-minded people to discuss it with.
I typed in “What’s it like to travel in Nicaragua?” And it suggested several semi-relevant posts from other people who said, “I gonna travel, wich countries are cool? Tell me about it!”.
The site will likely get better as its user base, and therefore number of topics grows. The site, which officially launched just days ago on January 19th, 2011, has 6,000 daily unique visitors and a total of 40,000 registered users. However, it’s valid to note that you don’t have to sign up to use the site. 70% of their users are based in the U.S and Canada, while 14% are based in the UK.
“More than anything else we are connecting people online. People have a never-ending need to discuss whatever may be on their minds with other like-minded people, but not necessarily within their circle of friends. And, often they don’t have the time or patience for someone to reply to a comment or post. We’re making it easier for them do just that.” -Daniel Sagis, CEO of AnybodyOutThere.
Sagis created the site to alleviate the frustration people have when they want to find someone appropriate to discuss things online, but instead end up wasting time searching through forums just trying to find that person. Trending topics on AnybodyOutThere right now include Egypt, politics, the Super bowl, health, sports and relationships.
The site’s instant messenger integration is pretty cool; conversation is much more knowledge based and less slutty way than Chatroutlette. Instead of skipping channels, users can choose to accept or reject a member. The ability to “rate” users is interesting too; it’s a nice way to screen out potential penises. The chat notification beep is different than any other sound my computer makes, for better or for worse.
So far the company has raised $250,000 in seed money and are currently in a funding round with American and Israeli VCs. The Tel Aviv based startup plans to monetize through advertising, although they have not yet implemented ads on the site.
If you’re in the market for random conversations and advice from random people then the site is worth a look around.