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This article was published on March 1, 2010

    Just How Big Is Chatroulette? – How About Gigantic?

    Just How Big Is Chatroulette? – How About Gigantic?
    Alex Wilhelm
    Story by

    Alex Wilhelm

    Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]

    chatrouletteYou have by now heard of, if not played, the wonderful game called Chatroulette. Born out of the mind of a young Eastern European teen it has exploded across the world, linking up random people for group video chatting.

    The chats are often quite saucy; children, stay away. The content that will appear on an average Chatroulette session will shock, appall, and delight even the most hardened adult.

    Sure, we have all heard of it, but how is site performing? Is its hype really translating to traffic? Let’s take a look at the numbers.

    According to comScore, the website had one million visitors in January. Not a bad start, but that data is now over a month old. Given that no specific data has yet to be formally released from any of the major statistics providers, we will have to extrapolate to find out how the site is doing right now.

    Alexa has been keeping tabs on the website constantly, allowing us to use the one million number from comScore, and comparative growth data from Alexa to get a fair estimation of Chatroulette’s global audience. As a side note, if you own a website, prepare to be humiliated.

    Now according to Alexa, Chatroulette’s global rank in January was around 13,000. A lower number is better, with Yahoo, Facebook, and Google at the top. Towards the end of the month, traffic began to grow rapidly. It expanded all through February. Here is the traffic rank graph:

    chatroullete traffic

    Now we have to remember that the Alexa ranking is nearly a logarithmic scale. That is, the gap from 1000th to 999th is much larger than the jump from 10,001 to 10,000 on the rankings. The site jumped from lower than a 10,000 ranking to the top 1,000 by the end of the last month.

    Now we have to guesstimate a multiple somewhat, but from what I know about traffic from websites in a similar traffic rank range, Chatroulette is looking at between three and five million global users a month at its peak in February.

    That is a three to five times multiple over their January rate that comScore reported. Fast growth for such a new website. On a more understandable basis, that means that between 100,000 and 166,000 people will Chatroulette today. Amazing.

    Finally, take a look at the Alexa graph one more time, the site just popped on to the radar in early December. Zero to five million in less than three months? Now that is impressive.

    Do you Chatroulette?