[tor-project] Future of Tor Messenger

isabela isabela at torproject.org
Thu Oct 26 12:01:54 UTC 2017

On 10/26/17 04:16, Arthur D. Edelstein wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 7:47 AM, Georg Koppen <gk at torproject.org> wrote:
> [snip]
>> 1) It should not be a desktop-only application. [snip] So, let's tear this
> desktop/mobile barrier down while thinking about the future.
>> 2) It should support onion service-based chat protocols. [snip]
> I wholeheartedly agree with these points. I would only add that for
> chat apps in general, mobile has perhaps 20x-100x the users that
> desktop has.[1] So if one had to initially choose between mobile and
> desktop because of limited resources, I would suggest starting with
> mobile and expanding to desktop as funding grew. Similar to Signal's
> approach.
> [1] The biggest desktop chat apps appear to be:
>  - Slack, with ~9 million weekly users:
> (https://expandedramblings.com/index.php/slack-statistics/)
>  - Discord, with ~9 million daily active users and 45 million
> registered users:
> https://venturebeat.com/2017/05/16/discords-game-voice-communications-app-hits-45-million-users/).
> Whereas the most popular mobile chat apps are apparently WhatsApp,
> Facebook Messenger, QQ Mobile, and WeChat with close to 1 billion
> users each: https://www.statista.com/statistics/258749/most-popular-global-mobile-messenger-apps/

Hi there I agree with these points too.

I think if we keep in mind that our use case is for folks who are
looking the on a 'chat product': 'privacy, security, anonymity and
censorship circumvention'.

I am not sure if the whole 'build it on the top of the Browser' is
possible. But the more I think about it the more I think that having
something that works with Tor Browser makes sense for a few reasons.

1. If its a .onion chat - the connection to Tor will be there with Tor
Browser (and of course, one less app for folks to download)

2. If I am on this .onion chat and someone sends me a link (which
happens a lot) I will already have a browser that is safe for me to open
it. And this allow us to complete the user experience in a safe way.

[Detail that most of the chat apps above has some browsing functionality
for folks to open urls within the app (so the user doesn't get out of
the product, is a retention tactic).]

3. Might be easier to have it on mobile since we will work on browser
on mobile.

But maybe the 'on the top of the Browser' doesn't make sense and all
this could still happen as a stand alone app. Without any browsing
functionality of course.


More information about the tor-project mailing list