Last week, I gave a talk at the middle school about what apps and sites are popular with kids. Last year I spent most of my time talking about Facebook, not this year. Kids are moving off Facebook to other sites. My talk focused on the big 5 sites but I also mentioned a few up and comers. One site, I am hearing a lot about is Omegle.
Omegle pairs up random strangers for a chat. Everyone is anonymous. On Omegle, you are identified as “YOU” and everyone else is “STRANGER”. Kids can chat with a stranger either via text or video. To kick off the conversation, they can ask a question or type in an interest. Based on this information, Omegle will pick a stranger for you. Kids can also allow Omegle to use their Facebook likes to find a compatible stranger. Once paired up, you and the stranger chat until someone chooses to disconnect. After chatting, kids can post or save their chat or just move on to a new stranger. Omegle is available as an app or on the desktop. Currently, the app only allows for conversations via text. On its website, kids can video chat or text.
I tried out Omegle. All of my chats began with “hi” or “hello” then some form of ASL – Age, Sex, Location. Depending on my response, the stranger either disconnected or asked for more information.
I tried adding a few interests and asking a question. I had the same conversation regardless of my question or my interests. I did not find anyone willing to have a non-sexual chat. Continue reading