The CB stands for citizens band radio — a relative of ham — and originally operated in similar ways, borrowing from radio’s lingo and channel system.
In one early “channel,” described by Info World in 1984, users did nothing but speak Old English and roleplay as kings and maidens.
However big your gang is, ICQ has got room for everyone.
Facebook chose an odd time to launch Rooms, its homage to the classic ’90s chatroom.
(His screenname was “Clinton Pz.”) By 1997, the year AOL launched Instant Messenger as a stand-alone chat product, the company boasted an estimated 19,000 chatrooms.AOL’s Instant Messenger, perhaps the icon of the anonymous instant-messaging age, quietly killed off its chat rooms in 2010.Yahoo Messenger axed its public chat rooms in 2012, explaining only that they weren’t a “core Yahoo!In some ways, in fact, chatrooms were experiencing a cultural shift similar to one much-discussed on Facebook today: a space that was once a frontier, was being standardized, monetized — colonized by moms.And the places that remained on the fringes were categorically gross: full of spam and sludge and a/s/l-style solicitation, a far cry from the supportive communities of the late ‘80s.The Web didn’t achieve anything like mainstream usage until well into the ‘90s; before then, the people sitting through many, many minutes of dial-up bleeps and buzzes, all to talk to pseudonymous strangers, were a very particular breed: hobbyists and early adopters and other technophilic types, each drawn to this peculiar experiment in part because it was peculiar, and its results were far from known.You never knew quite what, or who, you would find in a Compuserve chat — or, later, a chat on AOL (c. AOL’s chief architect and longest-serving employee, Joe Schober, once described the earliest AOL chatrooms as “little frontier towns”: small and unpolished, perhaps, but pioneering — like a spark in the big Internet void.If the Internet was an uncharted wilderness, however, the ‘90s were its Gold Rush.Services like MSN and AOL (which bought Compuserve in 1998) made the chat function available to millions of Americans, packaging it in dial-up subscriptions that users purchased first by the hour, and later by the month.Chatrooms were showing up in business software packages, such as Lotus and Oracle.The rooms had become a favored hangout not only of teenagers and technophiles, but of stay-at-home moms. ” one frequent chat-er joked in 1996.) And companies that had previously eschewed their own stand-alone chat services, such as Yahoo and MSN, were beginning to offer their own.