The Webcam Social Shopper is one example of software that utilizes the webcam in this manner.Webcam can be added to instant messaging, text chat services such as AOL Instant Messenger, and Vo IP services such as Skype, one-to-one live video communication over the Internet has now reached millions of mainstream PC users worldwide.

They have also become a source of security and privacy issues, as some built-in webcams can be remotely activated by spyware.

The most popular use of webcams is the establishment of video links, permitting computers to act as videophones or videoconference stations.

A webcam is a video camera that feeds or streams its image in real time to or through a computer to a computer network.

When "captured" by the computer, the video stream may be saved, viewed or sent on to other networks via systems such as the internet, and emailed as an attachment.

Improved video quality has helped webcams encroach on traditional video conferencing systems.

New features such as automatic lighting controls, real-time enhancements (retouching, wrinkle smoothing and vertical stretch), automatic face tracking and autofocus, assist users by providing substantial ease-of-use, further increasing the popularity of webcams.Webcam features and performance can vary by program, computer operating system, and also by the computer's processor capabilities.Video calling support has also been added to several popular instant messaging programs. Software is available to allow PC-connected cameras to watch for movement and sound, a computer e-mailed images of the burglar during the theft of the computer, enabling the owner to give police a clear picture of the burglar's face even after the computer had been stolen.making them the lowest-cost form of videotelephony.Despite the low cost, the resolution offered at present (2015) is rather impressive, with low-end webcams offering resolutions of 320×240, medium webcams offering 640×480 resolution, and high-end webcams offering 1280×720 (aka 720p) or even 1920×1080 (aka 1080p) resolution.This can be applied to games, providing additional control, improved interactivity and immersiveness.