Bonum Certa Men Certa

Yes, IRC is Still Growing (and Improving)

Video download link | md5sum b16224508b4703d129d6d42819a77a47 IRC Moving Upwards Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0



Summary: Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is doing well and isn't going away, contrary to what people expected and predicted after Freenode's demise (there are more online users counted right now than before Freenode's demise)

THE IRC protocol isn't an entirely static thing. It's not so arcane and primitive as functionality gets added on top (e.g. IRCv3) and it is backward compatible, so even ancient clients can access the "modern" (at the back end) IRC networks.

One might imagine that IRC is dead or dying, knowing that it goes back to the 1980s. We're talking about pre-World Wide Web days!

"One might imagine that IRC is dead or dying, knowing that it goes back to the 1980s. We're talking about pre-World Wide Web days!"In light of this past Friday's discussion in IRC we've decided to look at netsplit.de and compare present usage figures to past figures. Usage in tracked networks appears to have increased lately, and moreover it improved after Freenode's collapse last year.

Someone has said that "it would take like 10k [users] to restore freenode to its former glory even today" but an asssociate noted: "is that even desirable any more since the outcome of the disaster was an increase in independent IRC networks."

"So usage levels of IRC haven't gone down in recent years and have in fact improved lately."Centralisation of IRC usage in one network with over 100,000 concurrent users was never a healthy thing. IRC isn't meant to be centralised and it is not designed for that, either.

While recording the video above I noticed that this past Friday as many as 357k users were online across known networks (with decent size) compared to 334k in March this year, 352k in April, 351k in May, 339k in June, and 331k in August. For comparison's sake, in April 2021 (just before the mess in Freenode) 340k users were counted across networks (some people are in multiple networks, so there may be duplicates) compared to 361k in February 2020 (picked at random). So usage levels of IRC haven't gone down in recent years and have in fact improved lately.

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