Ancestors include network chat software such as UNIX "talk" used in the 1970s.The term chatiquette (chat etiquette) is a variation of netiquette (Internet etiquette) and describes basic rules of online communication.These conventions or guidelines have been created to avoid misunderstandings and to simplify the communication between users.

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.

The first transatlantic Internet chat took place between Oulu, Finland and Corvallis, Oregon in February 1989.

created by Compu Serve executive Alexander "Sandy" Trevor in Columbus, Ohio.

With chatrooms replacing many face-to-face conversations, it is necessary to be able to have quick conversation as if the person were present, so many people learn to type as quickly as they would normally speak.

Some critics are wary that this casual form of speech is being used so much that it will slowly take over common grammar; however, such a change has yet to be seen.

With the increasing population of online chatrooms there has been a massive growth "as new electronic modes of communication provoke similar anxieties amongst critics who express concern that young people are at risk, endangered by a rising tide of information over which the traditional controls of print media and the guardians of knowledge have no control on it".

"that teenagers and young people are in the leading the movement of change as they take advantage of the possibilities of digital technology, drastically changing the face of literacy in a variety of media through their uses of mobile phone text messages, e-mails, web-pages and on-line chatrooms.

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.