A state of messaging apps in late 2020

by on under personal
3 minute read

A state of messaging apps in late 2020

  • Occasionally I checkout the latest messaging apps for fun.
  • Over the years I have tried pretty much every app that looks usable.
  • I may include a few apps/services which aren’t strictly IM (Instant Messaging) apps.
  • There is quite a wide breadth of alternative messaging apps many may not be aware of.


Common team chats

Early IM

  • IRC
  • ICQ
  • AIM
  • Yahoo Messenger
  • Pidgin/Libpurple
  • MSN Messenger aka Windows Live Messenger
  • eBuddy

Early VOIP

  • Mumble - Open source and self hosted.
  • TeamSpeak - You can host your own secure server, the only downside is the text chat is basic and it’s not open source.
  • Asterisk - Great VOIP software but has a bit of a learning curve unless using FreePBX.

Decentralised focused team chats

  • Riot.im aka Matrix aka Element.io - They boast a huge selection of bridges/connectors which allow you to link various chat systems.
  • rocket.chat - Self hosted Discord/Slack alternative.
  • Jami
  • Mattermost
  • Jitsi - Open source Zoom alternative.
  • Zulip

Privacy focused

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