Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is an internet communication protocol designed for real-time text messaging. The protocol was created in 1988 as a replacement for a BBS-based chat program called MultiUser Talk.
IRC servers host individual channels, frequently called rooms, where participants can congregate to talk about specific topics (such as asking tech support questions, discussing politics, etc.) The the largest IRC networks are IRCnet, QuakeNet, Undernet, and EFnet–these networks have dozens of servers, tens of thousands of discussion channels, and hundreds of thousands of users.
IRC clients are available for every desktop and mobile operating system and even as web-based clients for access on virtually every internet-enabled platform.
- By Jason Fitzpatrick on 02/20/13