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 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.
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.
Senft has described herself as "the first academic camgirl" while becoming a “camgirl writing about camgirls.”"The men I meet online rarely fall into the category of anonymous asses who have abandoned all social etiquette, nor do they resemble the pasty, calculator-wristwatch-wearing forebears of chat rooms past.
Tips are electronic tokens that viewers can buy from a camming website, and then give to the models during live performances.