The first online chat system was called Talkomatic, created by Doug Brown and David R.Woolley in 1973 on the PLATO System at the University of Illinois.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.Online chat includes web-based applications that allow communication – often directly addressed, but anonymous between users in a multi-user environment.
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".
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.
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.
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.