It's working great for the 'chans, particularly everywhere other than 4chan's /b/. Even then, it's beyond thriving. It's just not exactly ideal for the general population.
Different people gravitate to different levels of anonymity. Maybe it's because they're less accepted in the real world, or maybe it's because of the social posturing that occurs when your name is associated with an account. Regardless, I've found that conversations are more real on chans than Facebook, Reddit, or Hubski. They may be filled with more spam and garbage, but they also don't include excessive flowery language and formatting just to gain internet points (in the form of likes, upvotes, or hubwheels).