Protocol for real-time Internet chat and messaging / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a text-based chat system for instant messaging. IRC is designed for group communication in discussion forums, called channels,[1] but also allows one-on-one communication via private messages[2] as well as chat and data transfer,[3] including file sharing.[4]

Quick facts: Abbreviation, Purpose, Developer(s), Introduc...
Internet Relay Chat
Communication protocol
PurposeInstant messaging
Developer(s)Jarkko Oikarinen
IntroductionAugust 1988; 35 years ago (1988-08)
InfluencedNot yet superseded
IRCv3 (standards process working group)
OSI layerApplication layer
Port(s)6667, 6697
RFC(s)RFC 1459
The first IRC server,, a Sun-3 server on display near the University of Oulu computer centre

Internet Relay Chat is implemented as an application layer protocol to facilitate communication in the form of text. The chat process works on a client–server networking model. Users connect, using a clientwhich may be a web app, a standalone desktop program, or embedded into part of a larger programto an IRC server, which may be part of a larger IRC network. Examples of programs used to connect include Mibbit, IRCCloud, KiwiIRC, and mIRC.

IRC usage has been declining steadily since 2003, losing 60 percent of its users.[5] In April 2011, the top 100 IRC networks served more than 200,000 users at a time.[6]

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