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.Online chat may refer to any kind of communication over the Internet that offers a real-time transmission of text messages from sender to receiver.Chat messages are generally short in order to enable other participants to respond quickly.Thereby, a feeling similar to a spoken conversation is created, which distinguishes chatting from other text-based online communication forms such as Internet forums and email.
Talkomatic was very popular among PLATO users into the mid-1980s.
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 expression online chat comes from the word chat which means "informal conversation".
The first transatlantic Internet chat took place between Oulu, Finland and Corvallis, Oregon in February 1989.
In 2014, Brown and Woolley released a web-based version of Talkomatic.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.