If you remember the days of Chatroulette, the website that connects you to strangers to chat with video and a chat box, the Monkey app will sound familiar.
It’s an app developed by two Australian teens who dropped out of high school to move to New York City and work on their idea. One of the founders and developers of the app, Isaiah Turner, told The New Yorker that Monkey is “like Chatroulette, without the pervs.”
It’s actually more of a speed dating-Chatroulette hybrid, and is currently only available on iOS devices. Users get matched with a random person from around the world the two have 15 seconds to video chat, if they like talking to one another they can decide to extend their chat time. Each user has to tap “time” to keep chatting, if only one taps “time” the call will disconnect when the 15 seconds is up.
Users can also decide to add the stranger as a friend. Once they have a friend added, there’s the option to chat them, send photos and play games like “truth or dare.”
Turner told The New Yorker that he and his co-founder Ben Pasternak made the app to help teens who feel lonely connect with others.
The app is rate d 12+ for infrequent or mild sexual content and nudity and crude humor among other things. The community guidelines prohibit bullying, illegal content and lying about age and encourages users to, “ Use this incredible opportunity for good, and before you say something, consider whether you would like it if someone said this to you. ”
The founders also partnered with a Crisis Text Line so that any users who need to talk to a trained crisis manager have the resources to do so.
However, the app may cause concern for parents who are weary of their children interacting with unpredictable strangers or giving out personal information.
The app has gained some attention since its launch and teens on Twitter rave about it.