Yes, OK, fine, there are a lot of penises on Chatroulette. Granted. But get past that and you’ll find a bona fide cultural phenomenon that might just make a ton of money, writes Jennifer Van Grove of Mashable. Chatroulette has an audience because it’s just plain fun, as anyone who’s tried it at a party can attest. If there’s a profitable niche for funny cat pictures—Cheezburger Network makes millions—why not Chatroulette?
Already the site has 1.5 million visitors a day, and a big slice of the public mind share. Its creator, 17-year-old Andrey Ternovskiy, says venture capitalists are clamoring to talk to him; he could sell the site for $1 million tomorrow. And the site still has tons of room to innovate. The latest feature: user-created custom roulettes that cut down on the randomness—and, hopefully, the penises.