Israeli Chat Startup Lets You Ask The World A Question

Israeli startup AnybodyOutThere has created a new platform that lets you shout out a question, comment or topic to the community and helps you find other people who want to chat with you about that topic right on the spot.

Have you ever wished you had someone to give you relationship advice right now, wanted to talk about politics or current events with people living in different parts of the world, or had a new joke that you just couldn’t wait to tell? Israeli startup AnybodyOutThere has created a new platform that lets you shout out a question, comment or topic to the community and helps you find other people who want to chat with you about that topic right on the spot. In other words, you tell the platform what you want to talk about and AnybodyOutThere lets you know if there’s ‘anybody out there’ that is up for a conversation.

I had the opportunity to meet AnybodyOutThere’s CEO Daniel Sagis at the company’s office in Tel Aviv and he gave me a product demo and answered some questions for me. Read on to find out more.

So how does AnybodyOutThere work? It’s really pretty simple. Basically, you navigate to the homepage at AnybodyOutThere.com and you’ll see a field that says ‘You Should It Out’. This is where you enter what you’d like to talk about, in 110 characters or less. You will then get a list of relevant results. To chat with someone just click “Let’s Talk” to send them an invitation. You don’t even have to create an account to use the service, although creating one will open up several features, including adding contacts

What’s cool about AnybodyOutThere is that it leverages Google Translate technology to let you chat with virtually anyone, in any language. Via the chat box you can choose the language that you are typing in and it will automatically translate your chat partner’s messages into the language that you understand. Although Daniel tells me that 70% of users are currently from the United States and Canada (speaking English, presumably), this is still a to cool way to unite people from around the globe. Imagine being able to chat with someone in Egypt today, whether or not that person spoke English, to find out what that person thinks about recent political events in Egypt and elsewhere. Pretty cool, right?

You can also integrate AnybodyOutThere into your own messaging platform, so you don’t have to actually be on the site to chat with people. AnybodyOutThere can be integrated into G-Talk, Yahoo, AIM, Jabber and more, allowing you to ask a question, find people to chat with and chat directly from your personal chat client.

Daniel tells me that people are currently using AnybodyOutThere to talk about all sorts of things, though relationships, politics, iPhone and tech are among the most popular topics. There are currently around 30,000 registered users with an average age of 31. He tells me that there are usually a couple hundred users on the site at any given time and that there are about 4,000 chats per day. The average chat time is around 25 minutes, or 52 messages.

With only a couple hundred users on at a time you may have a little trouble finding someone who wants to chat about exactly the same thing that you do, but AnybodyOutThere is doing their best to find relevant matches for everyone while they grow their user base. However, the algorithm is in place and this platform has the potential to be an extremely awesome way to find and chat with people on virtually any subject. It just needs to get more people online (so start using it, everyone!), and I’ve got a feeling that their user base will continue to grow to that point. They’ve had great response from their users and more people keep hopping on the AnybodyOutThere bandwagon. The team shared some positive user comments with me:

“I’m here a lot. And I love AnybodyOutThere. I am an addict to it. It has helped me through some hard times” Sinverguenza

“I found AnybodyOutThere by googling for an Omegle alternative. You’re more likely to have a conversation on here so I’m happy” Harold714

“AnybodyOutThere reminds me it’s a big world that actually had good people in it. Thank you” UpLateAndBored

Something that I was curious about is how a random chat site (and one that you don’t even have to sign in to use!) was able to stay “clean”. Daniel told me that they have been able to do a pretty good job of separating people who wanted to have a serious conversation from people who are just there to talk about sex or other subject matter that may be deemed as inappropriate. He says that when people say that they want to talk about R-Rated subjects they both see and are seen by other people who want to talk about this kind of material, but they are hidden from all other users. Unlike Chatroulette, where you don’t really have the choice about what you see or who you talk to, this censoring method helps hide “adult” subject from the view of those that don’t really want to see it. Daniel told me, “If someone wants to talk about sex it’s a legitimate subject.” However, they separate these users from the rest of community to avoid making other people uncomfortable. The same goes for people who just want to engage in small talk or send shout outs that don’t really engage or add anything to the community– their posts are hidden as well, except for others looking for small talk.

Daniel told me that AnybodyOutThere has some exciting new features on the horizon, including an auto-matching feature which will analyze a user’s behavior and propose similar users that they might like to chat with. This feature should come out in about two months or so. The company is also working on a new topics and tagging system. They currently create auto topics based upon the question or comment that you write. In the future you’ll be able to edit and add your own tags, which should make the matching algorithm more accurate.

Thanks to Daniel and the rest of the AnybodyOutThere team (pictured below). What do you think about the service? Would you consider using AnybodyOutThere to find people to chat with?