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WebSockets is a communication protocol that provides full-duplex communication channels over a single TCP connection. This protocol is designed to be implemented in web browsers and web servers but can be used by any client or server application. The WebSocket protocol makes it possible to open an interactive communication session between the user's browser and a server. With this API, you can send messages to a server and receive event-driven responses without having to poll the server for a reply.

In simpler terms, WebSockets is a technology that allows for real-time, two-way communication between a client (like a user's browser) and a server. This is a significant improvement over the traditional HTTP request-response model, which is unidirectional and requires the client to initiate all requests.

WebSockets is particularly useful in applications that require real-time data updates. For example, in a chat application, you would want new messages to appear instantly for all users, without them needing to refresh the page. WebSockets makes this possible by keeping a persistent connection open between the client and the server, allowing them to send data back and forth at any time.

To use WebSockets in a web application, you would typically use a library or framework that provides a high-level API for handling WebSocket connections. This might include establishing the connection, handling different types of messages, and dealing with errors and disconnections.

In conclusion, WebSockets is a powerful tool for building real-time web applications. It provides a more efficient and flexible way of handling communication between the client and server, making it an essential part of the modern web development toolkit.