Omegle: “next big thing” or hype?
So have you heard of Omegle? It’s a website that lets you chat with a random other visitor of the site. It has only been online for a few weeks but “everybody” seems to be talking about it. Even the free newspaper De Pers wrote about it this morning (in Dutch). It struck me because usually it takes a while before the “traditional media” pick up on new stuff on the internet. For example, Twitter was already very popular for a while when the newspapers and tv started reporting about it.
Anyway, Omegle intrigued me and made me ask myself questions like these:
Why is it so popular? And is it really so popular, or is it just generating a lot of attention? Is this just a hype and will Omegle be obscure and forgotten in, say, a year? Why am I even blogging about it? :-)
Here are some of my ponderings on some of these questions.
I think what is so attractive about Omegle is the “thrill” of being able to talk to someone, a real person somewhere on this planet, who is listening (you hope…) and being able to say what you’d like in anonymity and in complete safety, without the usual tension of meeting someone new and without the social consequences of “just saying what you think”.
The anonimity of the internet is abused a lot, in my opinion. Some people (you know, other people) use online forums or blog comments to vent their frustration anger or whatever they’re feeling, because there, it has little or no consequences for themselves. However it annoys a lot of other people, or worse. So maybe that’s the good thing about Omegle: it allows you to say whatever you feel the need to say in complete anonymity, but with “mutual consent”: both conversational partners have chosen to enter into an anonymous conversation and both can end it whenever they like. Also, the rest of the internet isn’t forced to read whatever you have to say. :-)
Also, a very strong point of Omegle is it’s very simple concept, I think. There is at least one other site that does exactly the same as Omegle: A Nice Chat, but it seems to be far less popular for some reason. Some even suggest that the idea was stolen from this site.
So will Omegle be “huge” in a year? I don’t think it’s going to be the next YouTube, but I think it will certainly have its place. Hopefully then, if someone has something on their mind he/she really needs to share, and if all their “real life” friends are not home, and all their Twitter “friends” won’t listen, they will think: “I really need to Omegle this”!
And why I am blogging about this? Everybody on Omegle told me to f*ck off. :-)