The XMPP was developed within the Jabber project in the late 1990s as a means to provide the necessary communication infrastructure for instant messaging (or chat) applications. These kinds of applications required an open, flexible, and extensible protocol that allowed peers to communicate with each other, even if they were residing behind separate firewalls.
The protocol has since grown and covers a lot of different use cases requiring instant messaging (that is, asynchronous messaging between peers) that are not related to chat. The protocol is also maintained by a separate organization, called the XMPP Standards Foundation (XSF). The core of the XMPP protocol is also standardized by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). XMPP Extension Protocols (XEPs) are maintained and published by the XSF.