Today’s Killer Startup: StrangerBot
StrangerBot connects you with strangers to chat.
Why It’s A Killer Startup:
Allow me to show my age for a moment while I complain about the internet. With the rise of social networking, so much of the randomness of the internet I grew up with is gone. The people we connect with online are people we either know IRL or we’re already connected with, at least tangentially. Twitter is relatively random still — in comparison to, say, Facebook — but nothing comes close to the random weirdness of the a/s/l AOL chatrooms.
Except, maybe, StrangerBot from Telegram.
StrangerBot connects you with random people to chat with, like a combination of AOL instant messenger and those old chat rooms. After downloading Telegram (if you don’t have it already), you launch the bot and type /start. The bot connects you with a stranger to chat with, and, if the chat window I have open right now is at all representative of the experience, I can say definitively that I’m having flashbacks to the a/s/l days.
I was paired with a guy from Iran who asked my name, age, and location pretty much off the bat. The ask for a picture followed soon thereafter, but when I said: “no, I don’t feel like sharing,” he backed right off of that — a pleasant surprise considering how often those conversations get abusive and weird these days. Also, StrangerBot lets you type /bye and that person disappears, so if shit does get weird, you have an escape route.
I expected the conversation to end there, but he pulled a surprising pivot and asked me what I think of Iran. A totally interesting conversation followed, leading me to conclude that StrangerBot may offer a bit more than our old AOL chatrooms usually did. This is definitely an app that I’ll keep using — I’m curious to see who it connects me with.
Miss the randomness of the AOL chatroom days? @StrangerBot will bring you back.