A real-time communication via keyboard between two or more users on a local network (LAN) or over the Internet. Non-verbal, a computer chat is like sending text messages back and forth. Either characters are transmitted after each key is pressed, or all the text is sent when the user presses Enter. The term chat became so pervasive in the computing world that a two-way audio communication is sometimes called a "voice chat," and video calling is often called "video chat."
Live Chat for Support
Live text chat is a common website support system, allowing someone to be assisted by a company representative, who typically handles more than one site visitor at a time. Called "live chat," "live help," "live person" or "live support software."
Chat Vs. Instant Messaging (IM) Vs. Texting (SMS)
Although all three of these services deal with sending and receiving text, chat and IM sessions are on the computer, while texting is done on cellphones. Chat sessions can be initiated by users merely browsing a website to interact with a sales or service rep at that very moment, whereas instant messaging (IM) requires installing an IM program, opening an account and sending invitations to recipients. See instant messaging and text messaging.
Chatting and Texting
Since chat is an English word, if someone refers to "chatting and texting" on a cellphone, it means real chatting (voice calling) and sending text messages. See chat room, video chat and IRC.
A Live Chat
Live chat is a great website addition for customers. When a visitor looks at the router section on Cisco's website, this dialog pops up. Although the young woman's headset might imply a voice call, the live chat is only text.