Anonymous chats. Why are there no audience gains?

    2011 - we enter the market with our information and analytical system , at the same time we monitor new startups on the topic of public procurement, and once attention was drawn to one of the directories by the anonymous chat project We went in, got acquainted, there were about 1K users on the site online, we looked at similar projects: (there is also always in the 1K area), the American analogue looked cooler and showed 25K. Some resources worked since 2009, someone entered this market later. We do not know exactly who was the first in history to launch an anonymous chat, but there was clearly something unusual in the idea.

    On Habré, the topic of anonymous chats was raised repeatedly, there were different opinions: someone spoke about the futility of such projects, another part of the audience supported, but the fact remained: every day from 20K to 600K users visit such sites . This means that such projects have their own audience and demand.

    With a detailed look at anonymous chats (we identified a total of 5 projects for ourselves), conclusions appeared regarding the following: why, with such unique numbers daily, there is almost no increase in attendance; which user behavior patterns prevail in them, what they like, what they lack.

    Sentence - useless time killer

    So, in our opinion, the existing anonymous chats, in the form in which they are, are nothing more than a “time killer”, “a platform for trolling and virtual fun. If we discard the semantic component of the dialogs and look at the user patterns, then we will see a number of interesting conclusions:
    - All visitors before the dialogue begin are in a state of obvious desire to communicate here and now, the reasons may be different (I wanted live communication, but there is nobody around; admin closed access to social networks, and the habit of chatting remained; other reasons may also be, let’s not forget about fun understandable adult themes);
    - Anonymity makes it easier to start a dialogue. Even those who experience the problem of communication in reality, easily and quickly adapt to the communication conditions that anonymous chat offers. Psychologists call this the “random travel companion effect”, when a stranger can easily say some things without fear and fear that this could harm the image we carry in life. If we talk about the “bad guys” that live in chat rooms, it is obvious that such a gop audience is clearly attracted to impunity and the possibility of self-affirmation at the expense of others.
    - The scenarios for starting a conversation in each chat turned out to be typical: a greeting, clarification of gender, age (if there is no filter by age and gender), name, place of residence, etc. Usually, the degree of adequacy and intentions of the interlocutor are clear from the first phrases. Based on this understanding, an interesting dialogue or transition to a new interlocutor is obtained.

    The first reason the audience leaked

    If the conversation turned out to be interesting, regardless of the context of the dialogue - in most cases there is a desire to view the photo of the interlocutor, as well as get the opportunity to continue the conversation with him on another day, because if the connection is disconnected, then there is practically no chance to resume a conversation with the same person. Those who really managed to find an interesting interlocutor, after breaking the connection, vainly try to find him in the social groups of these chats, and on the forums.
    Today, none of the existing chats gives the opportunity to transfer photos and return to the previous conversation. To show their photos and continue communication, some give links to their pages on social networks, someone, observing the principle of anonymity, uploads a file to a file hosting service or switches to communication in other instant messengers: ICQ, Skype, etc., the result is always the same - people to continue chatting leave the chat site.

    The second reason for audience leakage

    Another reason for leaving the chat is a meeting with inappropriate and preoccupied types. After such meetings, some people lose the desire to visit the site. It seems that there are more than half of such people there, but this is far from the case, experienced users are talking about it
    . Unfortunately, no existing chat makes it possible to add a cad to the black list, which would sometimes be very helpful. This measure could create an outflow of an inadequate audience, because after repeatedly getting into the ban, with the submission of many people, the boor will simply get tired of coming to the site without reaching his anti-goals here.

    The third reason for audience leakage

    And it is called - the futility of communication. Even with high loyalty to the site, chatovtsy are always conscious that the majority of interesting interlocutors remain virtual friends after all. They can know a lot about each other: starting from ordinary habits, to various nuances and preferences in sexual life; nevertheless, the dialogue between a man and a woman, whatever one may say, is built on the interests of the sexes. But it is quite possible that each of such interesting interlocutors could take an important place in each other's real life as a good friend, life partner, or just a temporary travel companion. But the thousands of kilometers separating people can be very, very difficult to overcome: the current worries and the world built by each of us keep people on a short leash.
    To eliminate this implicit leak, the possibility arises of choosing an interlocutor closer to oneself, so that you can somehow, while maintaining your usual way, get the opportunity to open new acquaintances with interesting people next to you. Unfortunately for users, geolocation accounting is not implemented in any such chat.
    All these conclusions lead to the idea that maintaining an audience on such a platform is possible if implemented: the
    possibility of choice:
    • gender
    • age
    • choosing the closest interlocutor on a city scale (to comply with the principle of anonymity, the exact coordinates within the city should not be taken into account);
    • choice of communication language;
    • selection of the language version of the site;
    • the choice of the interlocutor in a particular city;
    • choice of interlocutor of interests;

    chat functionality:
    • transfer of the saved image;
    • transferring a picture from the device’s camera;
    • adding the person to the black list;
    • maintaining an interesting dialogue in history;
    • the resumption of dialogue from the story when the interlocutor is online;
    • renaming the name of the room, by the name of the interlocutor or any other;
    • an opportunity to conduct simultaneously up to 10 dialogues and more;
    • the ability to include a video dialog or audio chat;
    • the presence of a game console with games for two.

    In this form, anonymous chat has a much greater chance of moving from the category of time killer to a real tool for real acquaintances, where instead of leaking the audience, there will certainly be an increase in it, and users will get tangible results in real life.

    Implement anonymous chat according to the scenario of increasing audience

    Studying anonymous chats, we of course did it with a distant eye, and suddenly it turns out to create something interesting. At the end of 2013, a decision matured for us to implement chat with such functionality, which we described in the section above. The efforts of the programmers of our company in early June 2014. the first version of was made . The guys immediately said that they are far from ideal, they can call us curved hands, although all the functionality works, but realizing all the nuances, after the project appeared on the network, they began to write a new version where it would not be a shame .
    In the meantime, we have to understand: will our chat model contribute to audience growth or not.

    What comes first: a concept or tool, tool or concept?

    We don’t know whether the tool can contribute to the creation of a concept, or vice versa the concept should contribute to the creation of a tool, and can we say that this is a concept in general, this is probably not important, but we will briefly outline the essence.
    The most important point in this concept - acquaintance begins against the backdrop of a clear desire to communicate right here and now. At the very beginning of the conversation, chat users evaluate the intellectual and emotional component of the interlocutor for compatibility. In this dating strategy, people do not go from the image that is created in social networks and dating sites; there he, as a rule, is idealized and far from reality, but from the mind.
    In social networks, very often a message from an outsider is perceived as an invasion of personal territory. On dating sites, people have to separate “grain from the chaff” for a very long time. these resources are full of announcements of intimate services; a huge part of users created questionnaires for a very long time, and now they are no longer active, and the other part simply does not meet the expectations of the parties. Template statuses and questionnaires are largely contrived, online dialogs there are very rare, and a message sent in the morning, in the evening, is read quite differently.

    Secondly, it’s obvious: mutual understanding is born of interlocutors suitable by gender, age and interests (filters are used for this). It is more convenient to choose an interlocutor closer to your city or in your city so that thousands of kilometers are not shared by interesting people.
    You can also ask for a search in a specific city, because it happens that you are going to a foreign city, and you don’t know anyone there, and so someone will wait for you.

    Thirdly, in the course of communication after the coincidence on an intellectual / emotional basis, people supplement this understanding in a visual way, exchanging photos directly in the program, and if these images continue to excite the interlocutor’s consciousness, and returning to the program from time to time (anonymity continues to remain, because there are no transitions to open accounts of social networks) interest in each other continues to grow and grows, then inevitably there will be a meeting in reality, because in one city it is really very easy to do.
    We can say that all this is quite controversial, but the process is running, let's see what happens.

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