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A Million Little Chatroulettes

Chatroulette might have lost its mojo, but, according to The New York Times, the video chat site has given rise to a number of startups inspired by its indiscriminate, serendipitous, mashed-up sensibility. TextSlide, for instance, matches random users and lets them chat via texting.

To protect privacy, however, "the service displays only users' screen names as well as their area codes, which Mr. Hunter hopes can serve as an icebreaker," writes The Times. "When they tire of one another or the conversation veers off topic, they can request a new partner." Regarding Chatroulette, TextSlide's founder tells The Times: "I learned a lot from watching that site ... There is a desire to connect with someone new in a short-form way, but if you don't give people something to talk about, it quickly devolves into questions about age, sex and location."

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