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.
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 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.
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.