It has been just over a year since Chatroulette rose to popularity and subsequently fell out of the limelight because of the, well…lack of pants. Pick or Skip, a new New York/Paris-based startup, is cleaning up random video chat and providing users with a safe and fun environment to connect to people with similar interests and chat, sans perverts.
The biggest problem with random chat is expressed in a Pick or Skip press release. “There are loads of online chat programs out there. But most of them suffer the same problems – too many dicks, not enough chat.” Pick Or Skip has made it their goal to provide a great random chat service that lets you have fun meeting new people, while not having to worry about averting your eyes each time you skip ahead to the next person.
So how does it work? According to the press release, “Getting started with Pick or Skip is as easy as finding ugly me on Chatroulette, and way easier than downloading the software required for many video chat programs.” Unlike Chatroulette, you do have to register with Pick or Skip, so to get started you’ll have to provide your name, email address and a few other little details. Once you’ve registered you can create a profile with a picture, status and whichever other information you’d like to share. Once that’s done, you’re ready to chat.
Similar to Chatroulette’s Channelroulette feature, which was initially introduced last summer to let people chat according to specific topics or themes (a feature that was subsequently removed), Pick or Skip allows users to chat based on specific interests. Channels include everything from dating to friendship, new technologies, finance, music, sports, cinema, fashion, and politics. When you choose a channel you are automatically matched up with other people who are interested in chatting about similar subjects. You can also choose whether you want to talk to guys or girls, and you can select the language that you want to talk in. The site is currently available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.
Once you’ve got everything set up, it’s time to start picking and skipping. According to the press release, all you’ve got to do is “Turn on your webcam, crack up the microphone, and you’re ready to roll! Pick or Skip will pair you with someone who fulfils all the criteria you have selected, and you have 20 seconds to chat to them before you can move on to the next person.” If you like the person you are chatting with you can “Pick” them, adding them to your contacts list for future chat. If you would rather chat with someone else after 20 seconds then you can “Skip” to the next person.
As you Pick more people you will build a contact list of online friends that you can chat, instant message and email with. You can also add friends that you already know to the list via Hotmail, Yahoo!, Gmail and more. I think it’s great that Pick or Skip serves not only as a place for random chat, but also allows you keep in touch and chat with your real life friends. The fact that you are able to save the friends you meet and talk with them again in the future also puts Pick or Skip leaps ahead of Chatroulette, allowing you to build relationships that last.
So how do they keep all the pervs and exhibitionists out? “Pick or Skip has a strict anti-abuse policy. This leaves Pick or Skip free from the problem of misconduct faced by Chatroulette and many other online video chat websites.” When users are reported, the Pick or Skip team reviews the report and then takes appropriate action, which can include barring users from the site permanently. Goodbye Chatroulette pervs!
What do you think of the premise behind Pick or Skip? Would you consider using the service to meet new friends?