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Forums are just another name for discussion boards, message boards and other names.
They enable users of a website to interact with each other by exchanging tips and
discussing hot topics related to a websites theme.
Forums save information posted on a particular topic for other people to see at any time, this creates a discussion environment.
Having a medium to high traffic forum on a website will increase the value of it as members of forums are very knowledgeable about the topic at hand and they'll usually try to show this in their posts thus creating lots of information and tips which visitors to your site can use.
The Cons of creating a forum
Creating successful forums is not easy, they involve a tremendous amount of work to get them started.
Nobody likes to post on an empty forum so you've to actively promote it and create lots of topics for discussion yourself, if these topics are interesting then you should get a few replies.
You've to do this self posting on a continuous basis for months, sometimes weeks but mostly months before a steady flow of topics and replies are posted by your forums members.
Forums let you to create online communities even with low traffic volumes since people usually return to the
site on a regular basis to catch up on whats happened since last time.