Chatroulette is a site which sets random strangers coming from around the world together for web cam-based chats. Guests to the website randomly begin an internet conversation (video, audio and text) together with another website visitor.

At any level, both person could leave the current chat by initiating a different accidental interconnection. Soon after offering an experimental "local" version which paired people by state or region, the site went offline briefly in August 2010, however returned to service on September 1.

The Chatroulette web page has been created by Andrey Ternovskiy, a 17-year-old high school pupil in Moscow, Russia. Ternovskiy says the idea came into being from online video chats he used to have with good friends on Skype, and also that he wrote the first version of Chatroulette in "a couple of days and 2 nights". Ternovskiy chose the brand "Chatroulette" right after seeing The Deer Hunter, a 1978 movie set in the Vietnam War during which prisoners of conflict are pushed to try out Russian roulette.

In early November 2009, right after the website presented, it got 500 website visitors every day. One calendar month later there were 50,000. The web page has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, New York magazine, and also on Good Morning America, Newsnight in the United Kingdom, Tosh and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Chatroulette was also parodied in the South Park season 14 episode "You Have 0 Friends". In Feb 2010, there were about 35,000 persons on Chatroulette at any given moment. Around the beginning of March, Ternovskiy predicted the web page to have close to 1.5 million users, just about 33% of which from the Usa and 5% from Germany.

The webpage uses Adobe Flash to present video and access the user's cam. Flash's peer-to-peer network functionality (by using RTMFP) let almost all video along with audio channels going directly in between person computers, without needing server bandwidth. Nevertheless, a number of combinations of routers won't let UDP traffic to pass among them, and then it is necessary to drop back to RTMP.

A first progress period has been funded by a $10,000 investment from Ternovskiy's father and mother which he quickly paid back. At the time of March 2010, Ternovskiy was managing the web page out of his childhood room, aided by four computer programmers who had been working remotely, plus the website was backed by promotion back links to an internet dating company.

According to one casual study released in March 2010, just about half coming from all Chatroulette spins linked a person with someone inside USA, as the next most likely country was France with 15%. Normally in periods showing a single person 89% of these were men and 11% had been female. 8% of spins showed several people behind the camera. one in 3 girls came out as such a team. This amount is 1 in 12 for guys. A individual seemed to be more likely to find a cam featuring no human being at all compared to 1 featuring a single girl. 1 in 8 spins yielded oftentimes objectionable content. A customer was twice as most likely to come upon a sign requesting women nudity than to find real girl nudity - chatroulette girls.