Skype, WhatsApp and Social Network: Is the end of free chat?
Close your eyes and imagine for a moment that you will be back in the early 2000 years. At that time Facebook it was a very distant mirage, and afternoons passed slowly between a trill msn, an exchange of words in chat and an eye on TV, with the interminable events of Dawson Leery and his clique of friends. It was the time when they didn't exist like, share, tweet ed hashtag. Anything WhatsApp o Telegram; it's true Skype it was already there, but few had a connection that allowed decent calls. In short, 10 / 15 years ago chatting was the coolest way to spend time. It was then that the phenomenon of Chat Rooms exploded, websites that offered instant messaging services through IRC protocol. A new one popped up every day, most of them very busy and appreciated especially by the very young. Today the situation is very different: it is the Social Networks that dominate, monopolizing most of the online communication.
Immediately afterwards there are messaging apps like Telegram and WhatsApp, but also Messanger and Viber. And the old Chat Rooms, the free chats, what happened to them? Who still uses them? And why?
A significant distinction
Ten years ago there were mainly two types of chat: chat with registration and free chat without registration. The first ones offered many more features: they were often correlated by a discussion forum, they had different rooms organized by theme and each user could personalize their profile with photos and personal information. They were practically true forerunners of modern social media.
Free chats, on the other hand, were much simpler and more intuitive, they did not need to be registered and were generally frequented by young, frivolous users with a lot of free time. In essence, those who wanted to spend their time getting to know people and exchanging opinions constructively attended chat rooms with registration; instead those who wanted to have fun without too many problems frequented the free chat. Here, the chats belonging to the first category are practically defunct with the affirmation of social media like Facebook and Twitter, those belonging to the second one continue to survive years later. The question is why?
The key is the "reference public".
In fact the answer is quite simple, but let's proceed with order ...
Today the online communication market offers billions of possibilities, each of which refers to a well-defined public that requires specific services. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google Plus are not just communication channels, but also offer entertainment of various kinds. Those who visit social media do it because they want to express their way of being, want to share what they love with others and let their circle of friends know what they think; at the same time he is curious to know what is happening in the world and wants to compare his own opinions with those of others, trying to assert his reason. In a nutshell, social media are the virtual transposition of the real world, so they allow both the birth of new social relationships and the consolidation of old ones. Instant messaging apps, on the other hand, are a tool for personal / family use, specifically designed to communicate people belonging to a well-defined network of knowledge in a free and fast way. They have practically replaced the old SMS, but they do not serve to create new social networks, but rather to facilitate the exchange of communication between the members of existing networks. A similar argument can be made for software that uses technology VoIP.
What makes chats "special"
The chats have essentially maintained a specific slice of the market made up of serial "fucksters" who only want to spend a few hours hacking on the internet ("tweaking", often, in every sense!). Some would say that the quality of chats today has dropped dramatically, that they are frequented by depraved people and that they are not an effective means of tightening relationships. Probably that someone is right, but that's not the point!
The truth is that today's chats are frequented by the kind of people who don't want to pay attention to frills and who look for a "certain type" of entertainment without having to waste time. Precisely for this reason the few chats to have survived are precisely those that have been able to seize this mechanism on the fly. One of these is the free 5chat chat (chat without registration based on IRC), where people with "particularly strong common interests" can talk in an exclusive section, "hot" discussions, dedicated to them. This is what really makes the difference ...
The chats are not dead yet!
By drawing conclusions, not all chats are destined to die over time. While on the one hand social media are becoming more and more all-round tools of communication, on the other hand chats continue to be the only plausible solution for the kind of people who want a certain type of entertainment, keeping their identity anonymous and safe your privacy ...