The expression online chat comes from the word chat which means "informal conversation".Online chat includes web-based applications that allow communication – often directly addressed, but anonymous between users in a multi-user environment.
Web conferencing is a more specific online service, that is often sold as a service, hosted on a web server controlled by the vendor.
The first online chat system was called Talkomatic, created by Doug Brown and David R.
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Online chat may address point-to-point communications as well as multicast communications from one sender to many receivers and voice and video chat, or may be a feature of a web conferencing service.
Online chat in a less stringent definition may be primarily any direct text-based or video-based (webcams), one-on-one chat or one-to-many group chat (formally also known as synchronous conferencing), using tools such as instant messengers, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), talkers and possibly MUDs.
The first online system to use the actual command "chat" was created for The Source in 1979 by Tom Walker and Fritz Thane of Dialcom, Inc.
The first transatlantic Internet chat took place between Oulu, Finland and Corvallis, Oregon in February 1989.
Critics are wary that this casual form of speech is being used so much that it will slowly take over common grammar; however, such a change has yet to be seen.
With the increasing population of online chatrooms there has been a massive growth "as new electronic modes of communication provoke similar anxieties amongst critics who express concern that young people are at risk, endangered by a rising tide of information over which the traditional controls of print media and the guardians of knowledge have no control on it".
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