A real-time communication via keyboard between two or more users on a local network (LAN) or over the Internet. Also called "live chat," the word "chat" is a misnomer, because it is a non-verbal, text communication like sending text messages from a cellphone. The chatting is accomplished by typing, and either each keystroke is transmitted after being pressed, or all the text is sent when the user presses Enter. The term became so pervasive in the computing world that a two-way audio communication is sometimes called a "voice chat."|
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 Web site 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 SMS.
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 and IRC.