Synchronous conferencing is the formal term used in computing, in particular in computer-mediated communication, collaboration and learning, to describe technologies informally known as online chat. It is sometimes extended to include audio/video conferencing or instant messaging systems that provide a text-based multi-user chat function. The word synchronous is used to qualify the conferencing as real-time, as distinct from a system such as e-mail, where messages are left and answered later.
Synchronous conferencing protocols include:
- IRC (Internet Relay Chat)
- PSYC (Protocol for Synchronous Conferencing)
- SILC (Secure Internet Live Conferencing protocol)
- XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol)