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.
Webcam models mostly perform individually in separate video chat rooms, which are frequently referred to as rooms.
Similar camming sites such as Chaturbate, Cam4and My Free boast 4.1 million, 3.7 million and 2 million unique monthly visitors, respectively.
The decentralized business model of camming has upended the pornography industry in multiple ways.
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.
The websites provide the transactional platform, and then collects and distributes a percentage of the tips to the models.
For public chat rooms, the model's portion of a tip is a little less than half.
Enabled with this new revenue stream for strippers, the strip club industry went through a period of extreme growth during the 1980s.
And in the early 20th century sociologist Paul Cressey noted that within the hundreds of taxi-dance halls of America, "the traffic in romance and in feminine society" would become available when taxi dancers would offer their companionship and "the illusion of romance" for ten cents a dance.
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.
The girls don’t need anybody." Once viewed as a small niche in the world of adult entertainment, camming today has become "the engine of the porn industry", according to Alec Helmy, the publisher of XBIZ, a sex-trade industry journal. Theresa Senft herself became a camgirl for a year while doing four years of research for her 2008 book entitled, Camgirls: Celebrity and Community in the Age of Social Networks.