Omegle is a platform launched in 2009 that attracts people from all over the world for the ease of exchanging messages with strangers without the need for registration or any information that can identify the user. The site gained strength and popularity last year, during the first wave of the pandemic, after being seen by users as a viable alternative to get around the loneliest days during isolation.
However, while the idea of meeting people online may seem interesting, it is important to know how the service works and what the risks are before starting a conversation. Here’s what Omegle is and how the platform for online conversations with strangers works.
1. What is Omegle and how does it work?
Omegle is a platform that offers the possibility to connect people with similar interests from anywhere in the world, by chat or video, and who wish to interact with strangers anonymously.
The site does not require any kind of registration, so there is no need to enter data such as name and age to start a conversation with other users. In addition, Omegle also does not allow users to choose whom to chat with: chats are automatically created with random, unknown people. The user can, however, choose topics of interest.
2. How to use Omegle?
To use Omegle, you just need to access the site, choose the language you want to communicate in, and include the topics of interest to be directed to chats with users who are looking for similar conversations. Then, the platform will open the chat space with a random user.
The platform offers text chat by default, but also allows you to activate the video, the image of which is displayed in the left corner of the screen. It is possible to stop the conversation or video call at any time by clicking “Stop” to exit the chat, change rooms or just stop the conversation.
3. Is Omegle safe?
The idea of chatting with strangers while maintaining anonymity and without much registration formalities may seem appealing at first glance, but it’s important to be aware of some dangers that Omegle users expose themselves to.
The information exchanged in online conversations with strangers can, for example, be used by malicious users to commit fraud. The site also doesn’t have an age verification system, so it doesn’t block its use by children, even though, officially, the website is intended for people over 18, or from the age of 13 under parental supervision.
The platform is also a hotbed of inappropriate content for certain ages or ethnic groups. In addition to chatting about adult topics, the site is accused of allowing users to reproduce and expose child pornography, according to a BBC report published earlier this year.
4. What are the alternatives?
Besides Omegle, other platforms offer the possibility of chatting with strangers, without the need for registration or identification. This is the case, for example, with Stranger MeetUp, which offers text chat and simple access, but whose basic differences are the impossibility of choosing topics of interest and the display of the user’s country on the chat screen.
In the same format, Ome TV allows interaction with new online friends, and although it is very similar to Omegle, it has no relation to the platform. The difference, however, is that Ome TV, besides asking for information about the user’s country, allows only video chats. The platform also has apps for Android and iPhone (iOS).
Users who prefer not to expose themselves in video calls can resort to options such as the Random Chat app, available for Android. Like Omegle, the app requires no registration and only requires a nickname, gender, and age to access and start chatting with strangers.