Just look at the earliest, successful forerunner to online chat — a program that academics invented, almost by accident, long before the birth of the World Wide Web.
Talkomatic, the program’s appropriately retro name, was born out of PLATO, a computer-based education program at the University of Illinois, in 1973.
Yahoo Messenger axed its public chat rooms in 2012, explaining only that they weren’t a “core Yahoo!
Sure, we have Rooms now — but Rooms, despite its branding and anonymous discussion groups, has little in common with the chatrooms of yore.
And like other modern attempts to reincarnate the ‘90s chat room (Airtime, anyone?
Facebook chose an odd time to launch Rooms, its homage to the classic ’90s chatroom.
AOL’s Instant Messenger, perhaps the icon of the anonymous instant-messaging age, quietly killed off its chat rooms in 2010.
It was primitive, by modern standards: Only five people could chat at once, and their messages displayed letter-by-letter as they typed.
But at the time, Talkomatic was something of a revelation.