Webcam models mostly perform individually in separate video chat rooms, which are frequently referred to as rooms.
The term "camwhore" was first used in print in November 2001 According to the web traffic analysis service Compete.com, Live Jasmin generates more than 9 million unique viewers a month.
Within public chat rooms the audience can see tips and viewer comments as scrolling text which appears next to the real-time video stream.
Camgirls will frequently read and respond to the scrolling viewer comments.
Since the early days of live Internet broadcasts by Ringley and Amanda, the phenomenon of camming has grown to become a multibillion-dollar industry which has an average of at least 12,500 cam models online at any given time and more than 240,000 viewers at any given time.
Camming websites typically fall into two main categories, dependent upon whether their video chat rooms are free or private.
A webcam model often performs erotic acts online, such as stripping, in exchange for money, goods, or attention. Since many webcam models operate independently from their homes, they are free to choose the amount of sexual content for their broadcasts.
In 1996 an American college student and conceptual artist, Jenny Ringley, created a website called "Jenni Cam." Her web camera was located in her dorm room and automatically photographed her every few minutes.
However, in free chat rooms payment is voluntary and is in the form of tips, thus providing the model with an income at a minimal cost for the multiple viewers of her chat room's video stream.
But since camming only requires a video camera, broadband service, and computer, there has now been a power reversal and it is the female webcam performers who propel the industry while at home.
Todd Blatt, who once produced pornographic movies in California and has several Ferraris to show for it, declared: "If you’re the middle guy who has been eating off this industry for 20 years, it’s a big change.
Some fans communicate multiple times a day with models through social media.
Unlike traditional pornography, the interactive nature of the camming medium titillates with the promise of virtual friendship.