Internet anonymity often seems to bring out these traits in people: performers become more like their own hopeful external image, whilst most people, well, devolve from cultural taboos since one of the most prevalent has already been broken. Retention in this case is not just the user retention we usually talk about, but just whether or not you remember that the meme even exists.Obviously many of us realise that Chatroulette still exists — you as the writer of this question are a perfect example of retention.
)I personally think that Chatroulette nailed itself on the assimilation stage through novelty — they gave people something they weren't used to seeing.
Culturally, we live in small social circles of friends and acquaintances; strangers are often interacted with but largely through transactional necessity (think about it: if I approached you on the street and you had no idea who I was, and I attempted to strike up a conversation with you, you'd most likely find me mentally unstable, if not just culturally taboo.) Chatroulette offered a subversion of common cultural interaction: everybody's a stranger, and you no longer have to worry about the things most people often worry about in social situations, such as ego and self-consciousness.
It's just you and the other guy, and, to some extent, either who you really are at your psychological core or who you want strangers to perceive you as.
If you're intolerant of the pervs and feel it's a cultural boundary too far crossed, you're not going to care after this initial novelty.
This psychosociological situation leaves a pretty distinct user profile in two demographics:1.