Should instant messengers be under providers instead of software?

4 of our 5 messengers are basically services by default. I would argue the vast majority of people don’t self-host Element or SimpleX too.

What makes the most sense to you guys?

Option 1:

  • Move RTC page under Providers
  • Add note to Briar clarifying there are no “default servers” — this would be like how SearXNG is treated on the search engine page.

Option 2:

  • Create new Instant Messenger page under Providers with Signal, SimpleX, Element, Session
  • Leave RTC page under Software for Briar and perhaps future more niche messengers or protocols which are exclusively decentralized/self-hosted.
  • Maybe we would move Element specifically to the new IM page and add generic “Matrix” to the RTC page. Although there were reasons we don’t list “Matrix” in general maybe it makes more sense to do so again with the pages split up. I’d also reconsider adding XMPP to the RTC page if IM providers were separated tbh.

Option 3:

  • No change

I would avoid option 2, it feels confusing to split messengers apart.
Option 1 is ok I guess but no change is fine either, I don’t think not having messengers under providers is an issue.


I agree with @user1, the way it is currently set up feels intuitive.


Option 1 or Option 3 seem like the most logical.

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I’m inclined to go with Option 3, because people think of the app not the service, and that also means that decentralized/p2p recommendations are not split off or out of place.


We should let it as it stands. We should aim for the most intuitive way, and people talk about messenger apps, not messenger providers. This is because we are used to think of it as peer to peer, like I send a message to,…

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Yeah but if that is a lie then that is hardly the most useful way to present the information, isn’t it?

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Communication is crucial and everyone communicates using their phones or computers. It is so important that I would go as far as to say that it should have a seperate category called Communication. Communication category would be split up into three categories: real-time communication, email providers and phone services.

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