Along with this product came the away message, buddy icons, a personal profile, and eventually voice chat, file transfer, and chat bots.
“It was a different time, because in the ‘90s, no one gave their real personal information on the internet,” says the now 35-year-old web developer.
User-created sexual fantasy rooms are also popular.
On Garden Chat, sometimes people still trade tips for gardening and cooking, messaging back and forth in different fonts, font weights, and colors.
“It was really cool, because even if your parents were in the next room, they couldn’t hear what you were talking about because you’re typing on your keyboard.”At AOL’s peak, more than 100 million AOL screen names existed, and users spent over a million hours chatting a year.
Chat rooms are online spaces where users communicate with one another through text-based messages.
The most popular chatrooms on AOL today have names like Widows and Widowers, Garden Chat, and Sixties Plus.
Also popular, a chatroom for Republicans, along with chatrooms called Beliefs Christian and Born Again.
But by 2005, those numbers had fallen to 18 percent of teens and 17 percent of adults [source: Pew Internet & American Life Project].
Over the years, chat rooms have lost ground to IM and social networks, and have suffered from bad press concerning their safety, especially for teens. And how do you make sure you and your children have a safe, enjoyable chat room experience?