Riot: Encrypted Open Source Messenger for Teams

September 23, 2016

1:20 pm

Smartphone users who communicate and often do teamwork like to have three different things. For starters, they like to easily communicate with their friends, family or work partners. Secondly, they want to use as fewer tools as possible, so it is ideal to have all their stuff in the same place. Last but not least, they want all this with the certainty of being secured and have their privacy assured.

For anyone feeling this is their description, know that there is an app comprising all that: Riot, a secure messaging environment that brings online collaboration into one workspace. It is launching publicly this week, after a successful beta phase under the codename Vector. Riot is built on Matrix, an open standard for decentralized persistent communication.

Email still is the most used mean of communication (even though there are better alternatives out there). However, it lacks important features, which are essential for teams to communicate effectively nowadays, such as group chat, integrations, bots and voice and video calling.

Despite the existence of good alternatives on the market, they tend to be completely fragmented, each having its own set of communities and peculiarities. With this, it is hard to bring different people together in one place, a problem that Riot developers aim to tackle, as Amandine Le Pape, Head of Product for Riot, commented:

“Riot brings back the power to the users. The power to choose the messaging app they want to use, the power to use any integration available in an open ecosystem, to encrypt their conversations, to run their own server and fully own their data, to choose how they want to be notified, and to innovate on top of an open standard. Riot represents a new era of communication.”

This app, available for mobile and web, allows teams to easily share data and collaborate on projects, even if they are using different communication apps or third-party tools. This is possible with the use of Matrix, which bridges the platform to external networks such as Slack, IRC, Twitter and Gitter. With this, users can use their favorite messaging app and still communicate with other users, adepts of distinct apps.

Security is another important focus of this platform; with Riot, users own their data and can choose with whom that data is to be shared with. Some of the most used messaging apps perform a surprising amount of consumer profiling, which endangers the privacy of their users. On Riot, however, users know that their data is shared only with who they want, and no third party can access it.

Riot is free and open source software, so everyone can use and improve it. There is a web app, and the mobile app can be downloaded from App Store, Google Play and F-Droid. All its code is published on GitHub (Apache License) for anyone to see, extend, and run. Users can have their own hosted services and integrations from Riot, or choose to run their own servers for maximum flexibility and customization.


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25 y/o, born and living in Portugal. Majored in Biology, but tech and computers were always a passion. Wrote for sites like Windows.Appstorm and MakeTechEasier.