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.Princeton University sociologist and author of The Purchase of Intimacy, Viviana Zelizer, states of camming: "They’re defining a new kind of intimacy.It’s not traditional sex work, not a relationship, but something in between." Within Cam Girlz, a documentary film about the industry, the male fans often say that they come to camming sites as a way to fulfill emotional needs.Kari Lerum of the University of Washington suggests that men are more open and vulnerable in cam rooms than in strip clubs, and can become very invested in relationships which only exist on the screen.
However Amanda made an important early discovery that would influence the camming industry for decades to come – that a website's popularity could be greatly increased by enabling viewers to chat with a performer while online.
However this is not the first time that conversational interaction had become a boon for the erotic entertainment industry.
The Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theatre strip club is credited with the invention of the lap dance when during 1977 their new stage, New York Live, pioneered customer-contact shows with strippers that came off the stage and sat in the laps of customers for tips.
Much of the success of camming owes to its ability to move beyond the borders of erotic video performance, and into the everyday social lives of camming customers, or fans as they are known.
Webcam performers are often highly entrepreneurial, and use mainstream social networking sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Skype, and Tumblr to build and maintain relationships with their customers.