ONLINE DATING

ChatStep review – Right step for finding a hookup?

0
Members 5,000,000
Popularity 200,000 users per month
Gender proportion 60% male, 40% female
Geography Asia, Europe, North America
Account verification email
Mobile app no
Price free
Free version yes
Fraud risk medium
Hookup chance ★☆☆☆☆

If dating platforms are too much of a commitment for you, chatrooms are the second best thing — you can find someone to talk to, befriend, date, or hook up with there. ChatStep used to be the leader in the chatroom market, thanks to a large user base and a straightforward interface.

The website is permanently down — there’s no notice as to when the app will be up and running again.

Although the platform is no longer around, I decided to take a walk down the memory lane and review ChatStep. At the end of the post, you’ll find out which websites make alternatives to the platform.

I will be rating the platform based on a range of criteria:

  • Affordability — do I have to pay to use the tool freely, and how much does the subscription cost.
  • Audience quality — what kind of users does the platform attract, and are there many fake accounts to be aware of.
  • Interface — is it good enough, intuitive, and easy to use.
  • Safety and security — is the moderating team keeping an eye on scammers and blocking inappropriate messages.
  • Hookup chance — how many chatroom conversations result in sex with no strings attached or a casual date.

Affordability

★★★★★

The service is 100% free. Users don’t have to pay to sign up, enter chatrooms, create private conversations, or share files and images. As I was working on the review, I was pleasantly surprised by not having to invest a cent for using the website.

Audience quality

★★☆☆☆

In 2018, ChatStep tightened its privacy policy and switched from an “anonymous chat room” positioning to profile-based communication. As a result, many avid users were not comfortable with the limitations and left the platform shortly after the changes were implemented.

Age distribution

Since the platform had no age restrictions, 40% of all chatroom users were 14-18 years old. 20% of regular visitors fell into the 18-25 age group. 15% of users are 25-35 years old. 15% of the platform visitors are 35-45 years old. Only 10% of users were older than 45.

Fakes and scammers

Like most chatroom platforms, ChatStep doesn’t filter its audience. As a result, the platform has been in the center of controversies due to the abundance of inappropriate content users streamed via a webcam.

As many children were exploring the platform, it often attracted scammers and catfishers. A few years ago, the rumors about perverts and pedophiles using the website started spreading around the web.

Interface

★★★☆☆

The site has a minimalistic design that loads in no time both on PC and mobile devices. The website has three basic features — “Create” for starting a chatroom, “Join” for connecting to an existing one, or “Public” for displaying public conversations.

Generally, the online community was satisfied with the platform’s interface before the latest release.

While being undeniably more secure, the latest update overcomplicated the user interface and reduced the loading speed. Here are the latest ChatStep reviews around the web:

“Hate the new ChatStep, why the hell did yous change such a good site?? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Please bring back the old version or yous will have to shut the site down as no one will use it. Went from one the best free hookup sites on the net, to probably the worst!!”

“Absolutely terrible. Need to register for private rooms and post pics. So slow an earthworm could beat it. Traps you in various rooms. Closing tabs still leaves you in the room. Once registered there is no escape, or change nick”

Signing up

The platform allowed users to enter rooms anonymously or create an account. The platform only requests basic info from users — username, email, and password. It hardly takes over a minute to fully set up an account. After completing the captcha check and validating a link sent to your inbox, I could create private or public chat rooms.

All in all, it takes around 2 minutes to complete the sign-up. The form is short and sweet — you will not get frustrated when filling it in.

Profile

As you chat with people, only a username is displayed. You can add a profile picture to an account — it’s optional. While users don’t need to have profiles to create and connect via chatrooms, having an account gives access to file sharing. In the “Profile” tab, you can see the logs of all chat rooms you’ve joined or created.

Search

To help users navigate between chatroom, the service groups them by categories — “Friendly” for casual chats, “Image” for picture-oriented groups, and “Fantasy” for role-playing conversations.

I was a little discouraged to find out there’s no “Dating” subcategory, as it’s much harder to find a date among people who are not actively looking for relationships on the platform.

Once you found the right chatroom and want to join it, click “Join.”

Chat

Rooms are simplistic and easy to use. All messages are color-coded, so you’ll have no problem understanding who sent a text.

Anytime someone replies, you’ll hear a “Ding” — if it gets annoying, feel free to disable the notifications. The website supports image sharing — to send a picture, drag it from the browser and drop it into the chatroom window.

Unfortunately, the platform has no way of tracking if people in the chatroom read your messages — there’s a lot of room for ghosting.

Mobile app

The website is fast and well-optimized for mobile browsers. All the PC features are accessible for Android and iOS devices. Unfortunately, there’s no standalone app for accessing your conversations via a smartphone.

Safety and security

★★☆☆☆

ChatStep promises not to store the conversation logs, shared files, or any other data. The platform claims that there will be no traces of your conversations on the web. Here’s the development team’s official statement:

“ChatStep servers are technically unable to read any user nicknames, messages, or images. ChatStep additionally stores no chat logs, not even temporary copies of uploaded images! There are no contextual or static advertisements on the website, no google analytics or mixpanel user tracking, and no cookies.”

The open user policy got the platform into some security trouble over the years. Parents were concerned that kids could freely access chat rooms that shared adult content.

A few years ago, the platform tightened the security grip and limited the degree of anonymity for its users. In the later versions, every user had to create an account and upload a picture before joining or creating chat rooms.

Hookup chance

★★☆☆☆

Since it is not a hookup platform per se, it’s rating as a dating website is much lower than on dating websites. There’s no location-based matching — finding a hookup in the area depends entirely on how much luck you have.

Matching algorithms

Although the website has no filtering to look for people that match your dating criteria, ChatStep sorts chatrooms by member age, religion, ethnicity, and topics people discuss in the space. This way, the moderation team successfully avoids conflicts, miscommunication, and discrimination.

ChatStep video review

ChatStep alternatives

In 2020, ChatStep is unavailable in most places in the world. The good news is, there are plenty of alternatives that help people meet and date each other. If you’re looking for a platform that is more efficient in hooking you up, try and compare these options:

Platform Hookup chance
Pure ★★★★★
Adult Friend Finder ★★★☆☆
AshleyMadison ★★★☆☆
XXXPersonals ★☆☆☆☆
DateHookup ★☆☆☆☆

I am:

Looking for:

My email:

Pure is for real meetings, not endless chats online

Pure users have only an hour to chat before their profiles disappear. In one hour, you send a casual sex request to potential matches near your location, discuss your desires, and share contact detail to set up an offline date. If you want to repeat the search and find other matches, you have to create a new profile. No worries, it takes a minute.

FAQ

Is ChatStep free?

Yes, it totally free dating site. There are no hidden fees or in-app purchases.

Is ChatStep legit and real?

It is no longer accessible in the United States and Western Europe. The platform used to be a legit way to meet real people online for no-commitment conversations.

Is ChatStep safe?

It is not the most secure platform as the moderating team does not monitor user accounts thoroughly.

Is it worth paying for ChatStep?

The platform is 100% free to use, both for PC and mobile devices.

What kind of dating site is ChatStep?

It is an open chatroom where strangers can talk to each other. The platform doesn’t save logs or conversation history — people feel free to speak themselves on the website.

Is there a mobile application for ChatStep?

No, there’s no mobile app for the service (but we have a review where you can choose the best app for sex). The platform is well-optimized for mobile browsers and has all the features of the desktop version.

Can I search for someone on ChatStep?

Since most ChatStep users are anonymous, no feature allows people to look for profiles on the website.

Can you have two ChatStep accounts?

Yes. ChatStep uses email addresses as the only way to verify user profiles. Since it’s possible to have a few inboxes, users have no problems creating a few accounts on the platform.

Can ChatStep delete my account?

Yes, the platform has the practice of deleting accounts, reported for verbal harassment, or those who are spreading spam.

How do I delete my ChatStep account?

The platform doesn’t store account data — if you don’t use the profile actively, it’ll eventually be erased on its own.

How to cancel a subscription?

There’s no need to pay for a subscription to start chatting. All you need to do is to join a chatroom anonymously or sign up to create a conversation.

Is ChatStep for serious relationships?

The platform lacks the tools for matchmaking and arranging dates. ChatStep is a great tool for casual conversations — for long-term involvement, consider using niche dating apps — Tinder, Pure, and others.

Can you look up people on ChatStep?

No, there’s no people lookup feature.

Bottom line

ChatStep is an excellent space for randomly meeting interesting people and discussing new things. While most conversations are far from being intelligent and sincere, you will enjoy the freedom of anonymous chatting and getting to say everything that’s on your mind.

When it comes to dating, the platform is kind of “meh”. Most user profiles don’t have real pictures, there’s no way to filter people by proximity, and the odds of finding someone who’s looking for a relationship are lower than on most dating platforms.

ChatStep is not the most lucrative and safest place for hooking up — I would prefer a specialized alternative over it anytime

James Miller
Born in Los Angeles, graduated from a college as a journalist, and spent several years as a freelancer writing about cultural events. From 2017, James writes about love and relationships and explores dating services.

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