A chat room is synchronous conferencing over the Internet (and occasionally asynchronous conferencing). There are several types of chat rooms. Your choice should be based on your particular needs/preferences. There are dedicated chat rooms that are basically websites whose sole purpose is offering chatting features. Some of these chat rooms are free while you have to pay to join others.
Another type of chat place is instant messaging or IM. This is basically real-time text-based chat. The text-based chat room is the oldest form of chat place. It could also be online forums, and fully-immersive graphical social environments. There has been a rise in the use of voice rooms. Some voice chat rooms incorporate both voice and text while others are exclusively voice rooms. Social networking sites such as Facebook also have chatting features.
Chat places are also categorized based on the chat script they are based on. These include:
- Java: These chat rooms work with all Web browsers, and they even work on Java script enabled phones. You however need to change the settings of your browser to enable Java.
- Flash: These rooms are powered by Adobe Inc.'s Macromedia Flash Player client, and they are integrated into websites. You therefore need to install the Flash Player before you can use the chat. Flash Player is available for download free of charge.
- IRC: IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a multi-user chat place network. People can meet here, and talk in private or in channels. You require an IRC client to connect to an IRC server, which in turn connects you to different IRC networks.
- MIRC: Yet another option is MIRC, which is a small computer program allowing you to use IRC. MIRC is available for download free of charge.
chat places are also categorized based on their theme. Some of the most popular rooms are dating. They are designed for people who are searching for relationships. There are dedicated dating chat places such as those designed for teenagers, for divorced people, and for gay people. Most of these rooms feature public and private rooms. There are religious chat rooms that allow people of the same faith to fellowship together and to interact. There are also chat place for the disabled, for people in the same line of work, and for people with similar interests such as sports, movies, and music.
Gaming rooms are established for people who play online games. These games are mostly incorporated in gaming websites, and they allow people to chat as they play each other and even when they are not playing. Online gaming is very popular and there are therefore many gaming places.