Chatting Rooms, more commonly known as chat rooms, are virtual places where people meet online to talk to each other with text, audio and video. Chat rooms have been very popular since the early days of the internet and their popularity has not faded over time.
People of all walks of life enjoy using chatting rooms to talk, joke, share their experiences, exchange ideas, thoughts or simply get to know each other. Chat rooms are like interactive message boards where you post a message and get responses right away. Additionally, chatting rooms typically come with private messaging features which allow chatters to take a public conversation with one individual into a private area.
The invention of webcams certainly had a great impact on chatting habits. While in the early days chat meant exchanging text messages, now chatting is a multimedia experience where chatters exchange not only text but also audio and video. You can use a microphone to have a voice conversation with other chatters and you can use a webcam to have a video chat as well. In fact some people don’t even bother typing they simply talk and broadcast themselves with their webcams; they have video conferences instead of simple text-chatting sessions.
Some of the most popular chatting rooms are offered by major Internet companies such as Yahoo and America Online. Yahoo Chat used to be the most popular chatting place of a large number of internet chatters. Unfortunately because of its success it was also a preferred target of spammers and bot creators.- Bots are computer programs that are used to spam chat rooms, they usually use female screen names to entice male users to click on links to adult sites. -Yahoo chat rooms were also used by pedophiles, like many free chat rooms available on the web. Nowadays, many restrictions have been added to Yahoo chat to prevent abuses by spammers and sex predators. AIM chat rooms are also available and are still quite a bit popular especially among people living in America. Google also offers chat rooms, in a 3D environment, with Lively. The Google Lively rooms can be added to other sites and people visiting those sites can enter the rooms and chat. Social networking sites also allow their users to join chat rooms. Myspace has chat rooms available to users who are logged in where they can chat with other Myspace users online and present in the rooms. Some ‘older’ sites such as ICQ also have chat rooms though they are not as popular as they used to be when there were fewer other chatting rooms to compete with.
Of course major internet companies are not the only ones to offer free chat rooms, in fact you’ll find chatting rooms available on many less known sites. The difference with major chat rooms and non-major chat rooms is of course the number of users you’ll find. Typically Yahoo chat rooms and AIM chat rooms will always have many users present and chatting. Google Lively is a more recent site therefore it has yet to gain the momentum chat giants such as Yahoo has.
Some chat rooms like the Yahoo chat rooms require that the user not only join Yahoo but also install a piece of software on his/her computer. Other chat rooms such as AIM chat rooms do require user registration but are completely web-based and don’t require any software download. There are also chat rooms that don’t require any form of registration at all, the user simply chooses a nickname and enters the chat room.
While many chat rooms are available for free and accessible to anybody who meet the required criteria to enter the rooms- like age restriction or site membership – others are only accessible when the user pays a fee. Indeed there are paid chat rooms as well. Usually paid chat rooms are moderated chat rooms which are dedicated to a restricted group of individuals. Very often you will find paid chat rooms on dating sites. Some paid chat rooms are offered as part of a membership package for a paid site. Sometimes those paid chat rooms will also allow limited access to non-paying members.
Nowadays anybody can create his/her own free chat rooms simply by adding a few lines of codes on his webpage. Many people add chat rooms on their profiles on social networking sites or on their blogs. Those chat rooms allow anybody who visits a web page to chat with the owner of the page if he/she’s online or with anybody else visiting the page at that time.
Internet chatting rooms still have many glorious years ahead of them while they will certainly evolve with technology and web surfing habits they will still remain popular as internet users are continuously looking for quality chat rooms to join.