[tor-project] Future of Tor Messenger

Arthur D. Edelstein arthuredelstein at gmail.com
Wed Oct 25 16:00:02 UTC 2017

On Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 5:00 AM, isabela <isabela at torproject.org> wrote:

> We build on the Browser (Tor Browser). We can start by creating a chat
> client, maybe a chat .onion service one like ricochet.

I think this is a very cool idea. Chat protocols such as ricochet have
the problem of growing the network large enough to be useful (the
network effect). By building it into Tor Browser you would already
have millions of potential users who can communicate with one another.

However, there have been a number of chat clients integrated in
browsers (such as Netscape Communicator, Firefox Hello, etc.) but most
have eventually been discontinued. It would be good to understand why
that is.

On Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 8:03 AM, Alison Macrina <alison at torproject.org> wrote:

> Email is used way more than chat.

One type of chat that is extremely popular is mobile messaging (text
messages, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, QQ Mobile, Snapchat etc.) I
think a metadata-free mobile messaging app (similar to ricochet) is
likely to be much more popular than any desktop chat app. So if we're
looking how to transition to a new chat product, I would strongly
consider switching to a focus on mobile, regardless of whether it's
integrated with the browser.

In general, I would advocate taking a cold, hard look at user numbers,
both in terms of our own apps and apps in the same markets (chat,
email, etc.). I think we should try to focus on what most users want.

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