What is the strange appeal of Chatroulette?

Chatroulette, a website founded by 17yearold Russian,  Andrey Ternovskiy, has inspired quite a bit of curiosity, disdain and applause from the media lately.  On his part, Ternovskiy created the site with the simple purpose of making “something different from what currently exists on the internet, and to make something that isn’t boring”.  According to many of Chatroulette’s users, he succeeded.

If you haven’t already experienced it yourself, Chatroulette is a site that randomly connects users through one-on-one videochat with strangers around the world.  Wired proposes that its popularity is due to a few characteristics that differentiate it from many of the other major social networking properties currently out there:

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