The primary benefit of Chatango is its portability. The site offers Chatango group chat rooms and private Chatango MINI box applications that users can post on other social networking sites, including Facebook profiles and eBay stores.
To create a Chatango group chat room, users just need to click "Add group page to your web page" and fill out a group name, URL and description. Group owners can also customize the size, font and color scheme of the group chat room boxes. These group chats are public forums where non-Chatango users, called anons, can chat with each other directly, unless prohibited by the moderators. After filling out the group chat room details, Chatango allows users to automatically insert the app into a variety of online community sites, including My Space, Friendster, Facebook and many more. Someone with a personal blog or site can also manually embed a Chatango chat room into their site by copying and pasting the HTML code into the Web page.
When there's little available space on a Web page, MINI Chatango boxesmight work better than a group chat. Like the Chatango group chat rooms, users can customize the size, font and colors in MINI chat box application as well. The Settings menu also gives chat room owners the ability to block users and specific words, such as profane language, from entering into the conversation. If the number of chat room participants gets too large to handle alone, group owners can also appoint other moderators.
Finally, an embedded Chatango chat button can advertise real-time chat capabilities without cluttering up a Web page. Clicking the button opens a pop-up chat window, rather than the window living on the Web page. A colored dot on the button glows green when the Chatango user is online and available for chat; if someone isn't logged in to Chatango, someone can still send a message, but the button will be gray to indicate that the user is away from the computer.
Chatango isn't the most robust online social networking site, but it fulfills a niche need for real time, text-based chatting. Hunting down friends with compatible interests is probably easier to do in a larger online community with a more detailed search function, but uploading a Chatango group or MINI chat onto a personal profile or Web page can get people connected and communicating without the lag time of e-mail and posts.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- "Top questions about Chatango." Chatango.com. (July 14, 2009)http://chatango.com/page?FAQ