As the avatars are downloaded, interleaved with conversation, one by one the hour glasses convert to individual pictures.
The time this takes varies depending on the connection.
Their solution also addressed how to make chat services into a profitable business.
The VPchat server deals with this by using a two layered system.
A likely factor in this decision was the problem of controlling the content of avatars, which can be a problem for a family oriented service.
The service remained and drew at its peak tens of thousands of concurrent chatters at Excite.
For repeat trouble makers, attempts to create new accounts are no longer accepted. with credit card billing information, so it is no longer possible to create dozens or hundreds of accounts.
The development of a subscription-based community management system was a major contribution to Virtual Places by Halsoft, the company behind
In 1998 IBM acquired Ubique from AOL and from Ubique's founders; Virtual Places presence and instant messaging components became part of Sametime technology, an IBM solution for corporate communication and collaboration. Chatters pay a nominal monthly fee to use the service.