Some commentators say the website is a throwback to the heady early days of the web and the first experimental chatrooms.

For my part I hope we have learned to be more cynical and less trusting since then.

Still reeling from our first experience we were next confronted with a large red sign that asked 'Want to see me naked? His English wasn't good and we resorted to a Spanish dictionary to communicate.

You can't help but feel snubbed the first time this happens but it is a common occurrence. He said he was from Paris but the system froze before we could chat further.

Users are ruthless on Chat Roulette and are quick to move on if they don't like the look of their online partner. After a few more false starts we met Pablo - a 36-year-old who said he was an ATM engineer from Chile.

The community here is like no other to be found on the internet, and we are constantly striving to make the site better for fun social interaction and for making friends online.

With over 1000 new members a day, it should be easy for you to make friends, and once you have you can initiate private webcam chat rooms with them via our self-developed instant messenger to have as many interactions with the same person as you desire!

It felt like being stuck in a lift with someone when you can't think what to say.

After a few monosyllabic answers she leaned forward and disconnected. We were then confronted by a bearded man in his thirties lazing on his sofa.

On the right is a larger text box where you chat via typed messages. Our first match was with a teenage girl, who hid her face under long lank brown hair.

Trying to be friendly we introduced ourselves but it was soon clear it was going to be an awkward encounter.

You then have the choice of either chatting to them or disconnecting and being matched with another user from around the globe.