Techopedia explains Real-Time Chat
The first real-time chat system was known as Talkomatic, developed by David R. Woolley and Doug Brown in 1973. It provided quite a few channels, each of which was able to support as many as five people, with messages from all users showing up on the screens character-by-character as they were typed. CompuServe CB Simulator, launched in 1980, was the first dedicated real-time chat service made available to the public.
Chat messages are often brief so as to let other participants respond swiftly, thereby creating a feeling much like a spoken conversation. This mode of communication differentiates real-time chats from other forms of text-based online communications, including emails and Internet forums. Real-time chat uses Web-based apps, which permit communication that is usually addressed directly but is anonymous among users in a multi-user environment.
Common real-time chat programs and protocols include:
- Apple's Messages
- Google Talk
- AOL Instant Messenger (AIM)
- Internet Relay Chat (IRC)
- RetroShare (encrypted)
- Windows Live Messenger
Chat programs that support multiple protocols include:
- Google+ Hangouts
- Miranda IM
- IBM Sametime
Websites having browser-based, real-time chat services include: