If the reasons did not convince you, then this page will show you how your existing platform compares with Matrix. Note that the guide only judges the de/merits of the platform itself, not its population (as network effect is used to keep users in walled gardens). This comparison is also somewhat general, and improvements are welcomed. However, remember that an advantage that Matrix has is that with adequate setup, you can bridge other platforms!
Before we begin, it should be reminded that Matrix is a mix of security and socialization. Recall what we’ve wrote:
Matrix is the long-awaited middleground between one-to-one messaging platforms (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, iMessages, SMS…) and social/collaborative messaging platforms (Discord, Slack, Telegram…): It offers an appropriate degree of privacy while allowing you to socialize/collaborate with others.
This means that Matrix on its own1 provides a certain degree of flexibility, allowing you to have more private conversations and open group collaborations at the same time, rather that providing absolute security for everything. If you insist on the latter, this guide suggests you to look elsewhere.
Most platforms you see on the market fall into this category.
The most important advantage of Matrix over these platforms is that Matrix is decentralized. This means that:
Matrix allows users to encrypt their message contents, whereas:
Session claims to be decentralized, but since the platform requires an ever-increasing amount8 of cryptocurrency stake for each node, running one is unreachable for most people (whereas for Matrix, there exists no such requirement from the platform), so the amount of nodes will eventually reach a finite ceiling, making it only marginally better than Signal.
XMPP and Matrix are very similar: most of these also apply to XMPP. The difference is that Matrix is much much more intuitive for an ordinary user, whereas XMPP is far from it.
Furthermore, XMPP is not encrypted by default, but use of OMEMO is also quite widespread. Still, it has the same metadata problem as Matrix. However, it is true that XMPP servers are lighter than Matrix, since in XMPP, most of the heavy work is done by the clients, whereas in Matrix, the homeservers need to constantly store things.
For reference, the official comment from matrix.org is here.
Platforms like Briar, Cwtch and Jami offer much more security, but at a huge cost in terms of utility due to their peer-to-peer nature, requiring participants to be online to receive messages.
Specifically, using the public Matrix federation. Some Matrix implementations (like the French government’s Tchap) may have utilized closed federations and extended features for specific purposes, thereby providing more communication security. ↩
i.e. Excluding development. But even so, Matrix allows its users to participate in the decision-making process. ↩
Viber claims to use an encryption mechanism that is similar - but not identical - to the Signal protocol. ↩
In terms of both tech and reach (hence excluding Threema). ↩
Relative to fiat currencies. ↩