IRC Online Services & Web Chat

IRC and related chat systems laid the technological foundation for the later development of proprietary chat systems by online services and websites, described below:

  • Online services. Several companies run private chat networks on the Internet. These systems comprise a private space owned by a particular company and only available to subscribers, unlike IRC which is a common space available to everybody on the Internet, and so are not covered here.
  • Websites. There are several applications and sites for conducting real-time chat sessions through websites, many identified in the DMOZ Chat category. They can be especially useful for purposes like online product support, conferences, and training. The client programs are often written in Java so they run in your web browser without a separate program. Because they aren’t standardized open systems, they aren’t always as optimized and fast as IRC at distributing the messages.