LOS ANGELES, Sept. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- When Napster founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning rolled out Airtime with a celebrity-backed bang and $33+ million in investments last June, the video chat site buzzed with promise. Since then, however, Airtime has steadily lost its sizzle, dropping from an average of nearly 200,000 daily users in July to only 20,000 a day in September, according to third-party tracker AppData.
Why has Airtime failed to be the "Chatroulette killer" it set out to be? Allen Fox, co-founder of ChatRandom, a webcam-based random chat alternative to Airtime and the original Chatroulette, says it comes down to one key feature that active chat users hold dear: privacy. Airtime strips users of this precious attribute by requiring access through Facebook. This approach simply does not work, Fox explains, because the whole point of random video chat has been and always will be privacy and anonymity.
"Users on video chat sites are meeting people they have never met before, and that fundamentally drives the demand for privacy and anonymity," Fox comments. "When you meet strangers on the street, you don't divulge your interests instantly. You choose to offer that information after building trust. Meeting people online is no different. As Airtime's Alexa ranking plummets, it's clear that most chat users prefer anonymous private chat versus a more revealing option linked to social media."
With anonymity anchoring ChatRandom's sustained success, the site's global reach is steadily growing. With over 250,000 users per day and 8+ million users a month, ChatRandom now has a higher traffic ranking in the US than the original Chatroulette, according to Alexa, and has attracted an average of over 20 times more users than Airtime has captured thus far, despite Airtime's financial backing and creation by two of social media's most recognized gurus.
"We've had customers try out the various chat options and tell us that anonymity and privacy are most definitely the primary reason they continue to choose ChatRandom," Fox states.
Anonymity alone, however, is not why ChatRandom has amassed such a loyal following. "We fill a void for features that users demand, including our free 'Gay Chat' and 'Multi User' options, which other sites don't offer," Fox concludes. "These services are cornerstones of our organic growth and why ChatRandom is a standout success in webcam-based random chat."
About ChatRandom (http://chatrandom.com)
Founded in early 2011, ChatRandom is the only free webcam-based chat site of its kind. An inspired Chatroulette alternative, ChatRandom delivers a safer, simpler platform for random video chatting with strangers in a multi-dimensional format. Users must be 18+, and the site upholds its user terms of service by employing full-time monitors who swiftly shut down illegal activity or usage by minors. Users video chat worry-free and can focus on meeting new people. ChatRandom boasts over 250,000 daily users, 8+ million monthly users and 21 billion connections -- and counting.