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.
This new literacy develops skills that may well be important to the labor market but are currently viewed with suspicion in the media and by educationalists.
Merchant also says "Younger people tend to be more adaptable than other sectors of society and, in general, quicker to adapt to new technology.
The first transatlantic Internet chat took place between Oulu, Finland and Corvallis, Oregon in February 1989.
Woolley in 1973 on the PLATO System at the University of Illinois.
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".
It offered several channels, each of which could accommodate up to five people, with messages appearing on all users' screens character-by-character as they were typed.
Talkomatic was very popular among PLATO users into the mid-1980s.