Video Chat

What Does Video Chat Mean?

Video chat is an online face-to-face, visual communication performed with other Internet users by using a webcam and dedicated software.


The term stemmed from programs that evolved from text-based chats to incorporating two-way video interaction. Video chat is usually used when video-based communication is incorporated into a preexisting service. For instance, when Facebook incorporated Skype video-based communication in 2011, it said that it was adding a video chat.

Video chat is also known as video conferencing and video calling.

Techopedia Explains Video Chat

Video chat is a one-on-one visual communication between two Internet users. Skype popularized video chats. It lets any two people around the globe to place a video call to each other. For this, all they need is a computer, the Skype application, and a good Internet connection.

Targeting the enterprise world in 2010, Skype introduced a feature that allows five people to take part in a video call. Video chat uses technology to conduct live video as well as audio interaction among users at different locations. Generally, video chats are performed by means of computers, smartphones, or tablets.

Although video chat mainly refers to point-to-point interaction, as with the case of FaceTime and Skype, it can also be used for multipoint (one-to-many) interactions; one typical example is Google Hangouts.

Even though video chat is frequently used interchangeably with videoconferencing, there is significant overlap between the two terms. Generally videoconferencing means multi-point, video-audio interaction set up in a business environment, with three or more participants taking part.

Skype and Apple’s FaceTime video calling are two of the most popular video chat services presently available. Facebook Video Chat, ooVoo, etc., are some other examples of popular video chats. Apart from this, many websites offer video chat rooms, where users can meet face-to-face and interact.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…