Riot is an open source collaborative messenger with a twist: Riot lets you run your own server, so teams can self-host to help address privacy concerns and compliance issues that are required in some organizations. Don't think of Riot as a typical 1:1 messenger like Signal; instead, think of it more as a home-brew solution for in-house organizational communication. It's not limited to that, but it's the easiest context to understand where Riot fits in the larger messenger ecosystem.
It's critical to note that Riot's end-to-end encryption is currently only in beta, so I don't currently recommend it for any use cases requiring absolute privacy. That said, it has a lot of features that some orgs might find beneficial, such as file sharing, voice and video conferencing, robust notifications, and an impressive "bridge" that allows you to communicate with users on other apps like Slack, IRC, and Twitter. If they can seal the cracks in their crypto, Riot will be an interesting project to follow in the coming years.
SKILL LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE
Use Instead of
SMS, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, Google Hangouts, Skype, or Yahoo Messenger
iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, Linux, web
Riot supports a lot of features, but their most important- their crypto- is still in beta.
Riot feels solidly average. It's not something you'd write home about, but also not something you'd find frustrating.
Again, Riot's design is.. fine. It's not innovative or elegant, but it also doesn't feel old and stagnant.