After rocketing to popularity and then just as quickly to scorn, Chatroulette has finally figured out a way to make money—off, of all things, all those naked chatters. New content control features were introduced last year, and even though you’ll still see the odd penis—about once an hour, founder Andrey Ternovskiy estimates—those nude guys, once they’re flagged enough times, are now redirected to adult sites Chatroulette partners with. The result? About $100,000 per month, Ternovskiy tells Fast Company.
That’s triple the site’s normal monthly revenue. "Everyday, about 50,000 new men are trying to get naked," he says. "What we're doing is selling the naked men to a couple of websites—it’s an investment for us." Even so, it’s a far cry from the site’s early heyday, when the 18-year-old founder was entertaining million-dollar offers for the site and enjoying 4,500-word New Yorker profiles. But after months of plummeting traffic, Ternovskiy says—thanks to the new system—visitor numbers have begun to rise once again. Click for more on Chatroulette's penis problem.
(Read more Chatroulette stories.)