Chat rooms have been around since the early days of the Internet, dating all the way back to CompuServe and AOL. In 1978, Roy Trubshaw created a computer program called Multi-User Dungeon (MUD), a game inspired by the popular Dungeons and Dragons video game. Although the initial MUD was only accessible to his friends, it soon spread and other creators created their own chat rooms. The MUDs began to take on a new look as the Internet became more accessible to more people.
During the early years, chat rooms resembled real-world chat rooms but lack the quirkiness and ingenuity of their ancestors. Although the first chat rooms were semi-lawless, these early versions were littered with ad hoardings and scum. Moreover, many people used chat rooms to find new friends and dates. It was also the first online chatroom, created by a team of academics by accident.
AIM was a free instant messaging system that allowed anyone to contact friends online. The service grew in popularity over time and by 1997, AOL had 36 million users. Other companies such as AOL clones began launching their own versions. By 1999, Yahoo! Messenger had a number of chat rooms containing a variety of topics. The popularity of chat rooms soared and the technology became more powerful and widely used.
The evolution of chat rooms from the beginnings of the internet has been a complicated process. Today, there are many different kinds of chat rooms. One type of chat room may have just a few dozen users. It is important to note that each chatter uses their own shorthand language, consisting of emoticons and abbreviations to communicate their thoughts and opinions. The result of this evolution is that chat rooms have a very rich history and are one of the most important aspects of the Internet.