From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Online chat can refer to any kind of communication over the internet, but is primarily meant to refer to direct 1-on-1 chat or text-based group chat (formally also known as synchronous conferencing), using tools such as instant messaging applicationsócomputer programs, Internet Relay Chat, talkers and possibly MUDs, MUCKs, MUSHes and MOOes.
While many of the webs well known custodians offer online chat and messaging services for free, an increasing number of providers are beginning to show strong revenue streams from paid-for services. Again it is the Adult service providers, profiting from the advent of reliable and high-speed broadband, (notably across Eastern Europe) who are at the forefront of the paid-for online chat revolution.
For every business traveller engaging in a video call or conference call rather than braving the check-in queue, there are countless web users replacing traditional conversational means with online chat and messaging. Like Email, which has reduced the need and usage of letter, fax and memo communication, online chat is steadily replacing telephony as the means of office and home communication. The early adopters in these areas are undoubtedly teenage users of instant messaging; indeed it cannot be long before SMS text messaging usage declines as mobile handsets provide the technology for online chat and the ability to seamlessly hold and continue conversations across multiple devices.
Other forms of online chat that are not usually referred to as online chat
A MUD, or a multi-user dungeon, is a multi-user version of dungeons and dragons for the internet, and is an early use of the internet. In a MUD, as well as playing the game, people can chat to each other. Talkers were originally based off MUDs and the earliest versions of talkers were primarily MUDs without the gaming element. Other derivations of MUDs were used that combined gaming with talking, and these include MUSHes, MOOs and MUCKs.
Besides real-time chat, another type of online community includes Internet forums and bulletin board systems (BBSes), where users write posts (blocks of text) to which later visitors may respond. Unlike the transient nature of chats, these systems generally archive posts and save them for weeks or years. They can be used for technical troubleshooting, advice, general conversation and more.
Online chat zones have been a haven for people to be lured by pedophiles. However, the legality for people to chat with strangers within a certain age range is very arguable.
- Chat room
- Web chat site
- Voice chat
- VoIP Voice over IP
- Live support software
- Online discussion
- Online discourse environment
- Internet Relay Chat
- Instant messenger
- Talk (Unix)
- Google Talk
- Yahoo! Messenger
- Windows Live Messenger
Chat programs supporting multiple protocols
- Miranda IM