Is chatting with strangers safe?

Anonymous video chat suddenly more popular than ever

Video chat portals are a good way to stay in touch with friends even in the corona lockdown. But what about when you want to meet new faces? Chat portals with strangers can now look forward to their big comeback. In particular, the popularity of the online service Omegle is just exploding.

Being at home and still having fun together: Since the first lockdown in spring, video chat portals such as Skype, Zoom or Jitsi have suddenly enjoyed great popularity. But it was hardly possible to make new contacts in this way.

And so tools are now celebrating their big comeback that were long considered extinct: anonymous video chats such as Chatroulette or Omegle, in which two completely randomly selected users are connected to one another at the push of a button, are currently more popular than ever.

Omegle: Meeting new people at random

According to Google Trends, Omegle was able to record particularly high search interest first in April of this year - during the first lockdown. In terms of popularity, the platform has been rocketing through the roof since November. According to the online magazine Bustle, the video chat platform has already become a genre of its own on TikTok. Influencers and TikTok stars use the randomized chats to meet their fans and create new content on the side.

Omegle first became well known around ten years ago and was very popular, especially among young people. However, the success of the anonymity-based platform also had its downsides: some users were quickly noticed by gross misconduct and the dissemination of inappropriate content.

And the same applies today to anonymous video chats: Always be careful! The provider of Omegle also warns urgently on its website not to disclose any personal information. Video chats are now being monitored by moderators and inappropriate videos are blocked as soon as possible, but it is also pointed out that it can of course happen that other users are noticed by negative behavior and that "predators" are up to mischief on the platform.

Omegle: style principle ensures rush of users

And this is how Omegle works: Once you have reached the chat portal, you can see in the top right how many users are currently online, usually a five-digit number. Before you really start, you can choose the language in which the chat should take place and whether you just want to text or connect via video. If you want, you can now specify topics. This serves as a small guide for the platform's random logarithm. In this way, he or she can connect two randomly selected users with the same interests in a "one-on-one" chat. Important to know: all chats in Omegle are anonymous and can be left at any time using the "Stop" button.

Omegle also operates a special private chat service for students only. Simply click on the "College student chat" button and then enter your university's own e-mail address. If necessary, check your inbox for a confirmation email from Omegle. As soon as the verification works, you can chat with other students.

Sometimes there are also fun and memorable conversations emerging on Omegle. The platform allows you to save chat histories. As soon as you have logged out and disconnected from the chat partner, you should see an orange button labeled "Great Chat?" see followed with some links. Click "Get a link" to open the conversation history in a new tab. Or click on "Select all" to select and copy all of the text. With the links to Facebook, Twitter and Co., you can easily post your chats on your pin board or your feed.

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