Internet Relay Chat

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

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: International standard, Developed by, Introdu...
Internet Relay Chat
International standardRFC 1459
Developed byJarkko Oikarinen
IntroducedLate August, 1988
IndustryInstant messaging
Superseded byNot yet superseded
IRCv3 (standards process working group)
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 client; which may be a web app, a standalone desktop program, or embedded into part of a larger program; to 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 half a million users at a time.[6]