The Decline and Fall of Chatroulette

A few months ago, Chatroulette was the hottest thing on the Internet.

Everyone from college students to famous musicians was logging on to the random-video-chat service to see what it was about. The New York Times asked whether it embodied “a glimpse into a surreal future, a turn in the direction of the Internet.” Social-media researchers analyzed the service, and Jon Stewart lampooned the media’s obsession with it — as well as the prevalence of perverts on the site.

How times change.

Chatroulette debuted a new version of the site Monday — only to be roundly panned by technology watchers. The site seems to have made mostly cosmetic changes, and even those confused users rather than making for a better experience. The user’s image is no longer displayed next to the other person’s image and is instead initially shown as a small inset in the main video screen. Users can now resize those images and move them around. A single gray bar — without any descriptive text — now serves as the “next” button.

Read the rest of this post on the original site

Must-Reads from other Websites

Panos Mourdoukoutas

Why Apple Should Buy China’s Xiaomi

Paul Graham

What I Didn’t Say

Benjamin Bratton

We Need to Talk About TED

Mat Honan

I, Glasshole: My Year With Google Glass

Chris Ware

All Together Now

Corey S. Powell and Laurie Gwen Shapiro

The Sculpture on the Moon

About Voices

Along with original content and posts from across the Dow Jones network, this section of AllThingsD includes Must-Reads From Other Websites — pieces we’ve read, discussions we’ve followed, stuff we like. Six posts from external sites are included here each weekday, but we only run the headlines. We link to the original sites for the rest. These posts are explicitly labeled, so it’s clear that the content comes from other websites, and for clarity’s sake, all outside posts run against a pink background.

We also solicit original full-length posts and accept some unsolicited submissions.

Read more »