Tips are electronic tokens that viewers can buy from a camming website, and then give to the models during live performances.
The tokens can also be used to buy videos or souvenirs of the model.
When webcam models create their live webcasts, they perform the activity known as camming.
A third-party hosting website which transmits multiple webcam models' video-streams is known as a camming site.
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.
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.
Additionally, the pornographic film industry used to be male-dominated except for the performers.
In private chat rooms, viewers pay by the minute for a private show.
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.
A webcam model often performs erotic acts online, such as stripping, in exchange for money, goods, or attention. Since many webcam models operate 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.
Enabled with this new revenue stream for strippers, the strip club industry went through a period of extreme growth during the 1980s.