An Insight into social video networking
By Oliver Gibbs
• This project will explore how online video networking affects peoples intentions whilst
visually interacting with somebody online, in comparison to face to face socialising.
• Audio/Video Networks such as Skype for example have been used in recent years as simple
alternatives to events that traditionally involve face to face dialogue such as business
• To investigate the contrasts and comparisons between video networking and real life social
interactions, I have decided to use the controversial ‘Chatroulette’ (chatroulette.com) using
many different methods.
• Chatroulette is infamous online due to it’s general concept.
• Once a user connects his/her webcam and searches, they are randomly
connected to another individual and free to broadcast and talk about
whatever they want.
• An individual has a choice to ‘stop’, ‘next’, or stay if he/she wishes at any
• For the first part of the experiment, I went onto the site by myself and
conducted very informal interviews regarding why exactly they were using
the site at the time, and what they generally enjoy about it.
• All conversations throughout this investigation were recorded by Bandicam.
• To get a round of reactions from
people on a global basis, I decided to
space my times apart on the site, thus
taking advantage of all time zones.
• It was a lot more difficult than
expected, for several reasons that will
• Those who displayed their identities
on screen will be left anonymous
throughout the display of the research.
• 4 males, 5 females, and two groups
were interviewed on camera.
• Reactions were mixed, possibly due to massively cultures in the interviews,
but the opinions still helped with the investigation.
• One male appearing to be in his early thirties from Hungary stated in a short
interview that he was comfortable talking to people on the site, stating that it
was easy to ‘walk away without feeling awkward’.
• It was not only apparent from this reaction, but from the rate in which
people skip partners that demonstrates the draining of many emotions the
world of online networking brings.
• One female from Thailand claiming to be a student responded to the question I
asked regarding her about her reasons being on the site by simply stating to be
Interested yet confused with the response, I
continued to ask what exactly she found
addictive, to which she responded with
making friendly conversations, despite
expressing her dislike of people who use the
site for sexual purposes.
• For the next part of the experiment, I found that it was necessary to
investigate whether certain types of people are comforted more than others
• This would be achieved by taking three times of the day to each scroll
through 20 users, whilst taking note of their gender, estimated age and
amount of people on camera.
• These three times of the day included morning at approximately 11am, 5pm
Under 17 Young Adult Mature Adult Over 45
Male Female Groups
The results clearly depict here that the
majority of chatroulette users are male,
most of them whom are likely to be
• From both these results as well as the results from the interview, it seemed
logical to assume that young adult males perhaps felt comfortable talking to
young adult women online from an equally comfortable distance.
• Groups however didn’t seem to care too much about who they were on
camera with. In fact, it would be also logical to assume that groups were
more attracted to the sites infamy, and instead wanted to take advantage of
more humorous factors of online video broadcasting.
The Gender Factor
• To put the gender factor to the test, I decided to conduct three ten minute sessions
with ten volunteers.
• Whilst these volunteers were using the site, I instructed them to keep a friendly
conversation for as long as possible with who ever was randomly generated.
• During this time, the average conversation length was recorded, as well as the
average ‘next’ rate.
• Out of these volunteers (including myself) five were male, and five were female.
A Male Experience
• Average duration of conversation out of
five participants: 7.3 seconds.
• Average ‘next’ rate out of five participants
in ten minutes: 18
• It is clear from the first half of this
research that young adult males particularly
tend to skip other males before words have
even been exchanged.
A Female Experience
• Average duration of conversation out of five
participants: 1 minute 4.3 seconds.
• Average ‘next’ rate out of five participants in
ten minutes: 4
• It is even now further logical to suggest that
females on Chatroulette are undoubtedly seeked
out by young adult males due to the low
proportion of female users possibly.
Final Conclusions and Summary
• To conclude that the majority of males visit Chatroulette for sexual reasons
would be quite unfair. Although this factor is what arguably makes it so
controversial, there are other factors to consider when discussing the
difference between online video networking and real life face to face social
• It is however in almost all cases fair to say that video networking sites and
programmes offer a sense of escapism to all who wish to feel secure
knowing they have technical control of a conversation, whilst remaining in
their comfort zones.