Internet Relay Chat

History of IRC

A chronoligical timeline:

Year Milestone
1988 - Summer While working at the University of Oulu, Finland, Jarkko Oikarinen decided to improve the existing multi-user chat program which ran on the Bulletin Board system that he Administered. Inspired by Bitnet Relay Chat, Oikarinen wanted to improve upon existing chat programs and create a stable platform for multi-client communication.
1988 - August Oikarinen called the resulting program IRC, and first deployed it at the end of August 1988.
1988+ Once Oikarinen's IRC server started having more than 10 users, he asked friends at other Universities in Finland to start running IRC servers, and other Universities soon followed.
Despite his efforts, IRC's uptake was poor outside of his social and educaitonal circles, until he managed to talk to some people at MIT. From there, he got the first IRC user outside of Scandinavia. Oikarinen then began getting mail messages from an increasing number of academics. His idea and program were spreading, and soon enough IRC became one the of most widely used services on the Internet
1991 During Iraq's Invasion of Quwait, IRC's popularity skyrocketed as people used it to get direct up-to-date information of the unfolding situation, which even lasted a week after radio and telivision broadcasts from the country were cut off.