Going by media accounts, Chatroulette.com is all the rage. It was mentioned on Saturday Night Live over the weekend, and The Daily Show parodied the site last Thursday.
In other words, the unvetted showcase for exhibitionism may have already jumped the shark.
It doesn't always work out that way, though. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter have only grown in popularity since they were mainstream media novelties. A flavor of the week occasionally becomes the next Web 2.0 sweetheart.
As a traffic-grabbing phenom, Chatroulette is going to pose the same questions that we've asked about online eyeball magnets. Is it for sale? Can it be monetized? Chatroulette poses a new query: Will our shareholders approve?
See, Chatroulette pushes the envelope by packaging it in a brown paper bag. The video-chat site connects two random strangers by webcam until one or the other clicks the "next" button. It's unfiltered, so one shouldn't be surprised to find the site dominated by angst-riddled guys -- pants optional.
The curiosity factor is certainly helping attract an audience these days. This would make it a natural buyout candidate for panache-starved Yahoo!
That leaves online dating-site operators. IAC
A buyout still doesn't seem feasible. You need a seller and a buyer to complete a transaction, and Chatroulette may be noncommittal on both ends.
That's OK, though. One of them can simply hit the F9 key, and a new random stranger will pop up.
Is Chatroulette here to stay? Share your thoughts -- and experiences, if you dare -- in the comments box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz remembers when social networks were an offline endeavor. He owns no shares in any of the companies in this story and is also a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its defiance. The Fool has a disclosure policy.