Pour One Out For Omegle and What the Internet Could Have Been

This is why we can never have nice things

Joe Procopio
5 min readDec 4, 2023

I have to be very careful about how I write this column.

Let’s start with the facts.

You know how when an elderly celebrity passes away and you thought they had already passed away years ago? That’s exactly what happened to me when I read last week that Omegle, the 14-year-old video-and-text chat site, was shutting down.

To me, Omegle was nothing more than a cultural meme. I had never used it. I don’t know that I can pronounce it correctly. I thought it had died out in the early 2010s.

So imagine my surprise when I was not only made aware of its recent demise, but in reading the article, also discovered that the machinery behind Omegle was nothing close to what I had assumed was going on back there.

It was started by a kid. Didn’t know that.

It was still being run by that kid, now a fully-formed adult, completely on his own. Wasn’t aware of that.

At the time of its shutdown, Omegle was still pulling in 50 million users per month.

That’s shocking.

Omegle had become the inception point for some “unspeakably heinous crimes.”



Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building TeachingStartup.com & GROWERS. Write at Inc.com and BuiltIn.com. More at joeprocopio.com