Chat Room History Timeline

Pre Online Chat Room Era

August 1988-November 1988

  • The Birth Of IRC (internet relay chat)
  • Internet relay chat was first invented by Jarkko Oikarinen as he wrote the first internet relay chat server and client.
  • Internet chat relay was first and became widely spread through Finland. At this time internet connections never left Finland. (you could only connect with other people and websites within Finland)
  • The first internet relay chat user was Mike Jacobs outside Scandinavia.
  • The first internet relay chat network was
  • Internet relay chat spread across the internet in November 1988


  • 40 internet relay chat servers were running throughout the world.
  • Internet Relay Chat ll was released by Michael Sandrof.


  • July: Internet chat relay averaged about 12 users on 38 servers.
  • A new internet chat relay network (ChNet about 25 servers and no users) was setup to develope a new version of ircd (2.6), who developed the first one and when i don't know. This server imploded due to disagreements between programmers.

Online Chat Room Era


  • Java applet support was introduced to web browsers and soon after java chat was developed (used IRC as its backbone).
  • Yahoo became incorporated and opened up their chat service?

  • Java web chat networks started popping up everywhere.


  • Msn developes ActiveX Chat Technology and opens their online chat room service.
  • October 18th: HearMe Inc., developed support for voice communications within chat rooms.


  • October 14th: Msn switches chat service to subscription only in most countrys excluding chatters in Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Brazil


  • May, 2005: Yahoo drops java based online chat rooms


  • August 31st: Microsoft announces termination of all msn chat rooms.
  • October 16th: Msn closes their chat service.(at around 11:30 am EST)

This brings us to the end of popular online chat networks ...or is it?