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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

When webcam models create their live Internet broadcasts, they perform the activity known as camming.