Which chat-client are you going to recommend to your friends and family?

In my humble opinion Signal and the Element are the only two real alternatives currently, and I will recommend to install both.

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Thanks for the 80 replies. 10 people here would recommend both, 47 Signal, and 23 Element.

Also thanks for the text replies!

People say frequently that Signal is easier to handle than Element. I think they have different use cases, but I do agree.

@sexybiggetje@mastodon.socYou shared that Signal does not store your phone number. Do you know how that works?

@bsm You shared that Telegram is not really an option if you want security and privacy. Could you substantiate that with sources? :)

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@Erik Element/Matrix is great :D
Unfortunately I haven't been able to convince any friends to move over, but luckily there are already plenty of communities on there!

Telling everyone Signal, coz I think there's more chance of them actually downloading and using it.

If they would do what I said whatever I said I'd be saying Matrix.

@Erik ik kan de weg niet vinden in element, snap niet hoe ik er handig mee om kan gaan. Andere cliënt misschien beter?

@meneer Ik vond Riot juist dramatisch, maar Element vind ik wel mooi. Ik ken geen betere client voor Matrix, en op hun website raden ze ook Element aan:

Ik vind de UI van Element best wel intuïtief, ook al gebruik ik hem nog bijna nooit. Wat vind je er zelf onhandig aan? Ben wel benieuwd!

@Erik ik kom in een kanaal terecht en dan zie ik veel berichten waarvan ik niet weet in welke draadje ik terechtkom. Loopt door elkaar en dan de weg kwijt.


Dat is een beetje als irc, mensen hebben het ergens over als je er niet bent 🙂


@Erik I personally use Element but I would not actually consider it really federated. It has the possibility to be of course, and I have hope.
Another federated chat alternative would be jabber/XMPP. Apps on most (all?) platforms. A lot of servers and possibly of encryption too.
I don't use Signal becaude nobody I know uses it. It's a shame but hell.

@Erik I recommend #Signal to friends and family - not because it‘s „better“ than #Matrix, just because it‘s easier to handle. I use both.



Conversations on Android is just as easy to use as Signal, and it has all the advantages of Matrix (Element) and is even more decentralized. For other XMPP clients that support end-to-end encryption using OMEMO, see

@chpietsch Interesting, I don't know OMEMO. What is the client that you are recommending? :)


The client I recommend is called Conversations. It is free if you install it via @fdroidorg. Or use this fork: @pixart.

@chpietsch @Erik Conversations is no easier to use than Element - it is horrible when it comes to verification or adding a new device - and try using it on iOS

@KitKat @Erik

I beg to differ. Conversations is way easier to use than Element.

@Erik None to be honest. Installed Signal several times and found to be spammed by scammers (one time ring, hoping you will return the call). Element, or Riot as I use it is not my choice.

Simple xmmp, with encryption is more then enough for me.

Those scammers aren't signal related, never heard this story before.


Then please explain why I get them when Signal is installed for a day? And not once but every time I installed signal?


So you are saying that scammers know when your app was installed as opposed to being on a list? Sounds more like you need to check your security.

Don't make claims you can't back up.


I am just stating what happened. If it was once or twice then it could have been a coincidence, not when it happens every time.

Can you prove me it was not due to installing Signal? Suppose not so your statement is a good advise for yourself too imho.


Purely the fact that it doesn't happen to me is proof. I searched the web, no one else claims this.

The ball is in your park mate.


Might be that others are not reporting it. I did. Returning the ball to you since you did not proof I am wrong


So just to be sure to verify your claim: You install signal, same day? you get called by scammers?
I'll register on my second phone number and we'll see.

@hansw @sexybiggetje @Erik

Signal protocal allows phone number discovery. But for that to happen someone already has your phone number, and could use potentially any other means (WhatsApp, SMS). That spammer decided to use signal, but could easily have used any other of those means. You can just block that number.

@hansw @sexybiggetje Let's keep it nice :) I also don't encounter any scam problems. Can you share a concrete example / screenshot? Maybe we can help. Also, I am aware that you can get messages from people in your contact list that join Signal. This can be the source of your problems, but I'm not sure :)


I am simply talking about phone calls, not messages. They let it ring once or twice and hangup. When you look at the numbers it is from countries all over the world. And yes, every time after I install Signal.

Maybe the changed their policy but up until recently your phone number is visible to all contacts. And not, those people in Algeria (to name one) are not in my contact list.


Uhm. You basically register with your phonenumber, your contacts must already have your phone number to appear in signal. They communicate using hashes.

You do know how those scammers work right? They just dial numbers scraped from everywhere. Tons of database leaks everywhere. The signal servers don't even store your phonenumber, so they can't leak it. (Source code is verifiable).



I have been very active in preventing scammer in the past yes. Now if you look back at my first answer to Erik then you see me simply naming facts about what is happening and how it is happening.

Not sure if you are a stakeholder (not in shares) of Signal but you state I blame signal. I do not, I preset the facts and state what I see. I never get those spam calls if I delete Signal or not install it. I have seen this happening with two different phones in my account.


@hansw I'm not a stakeholder, your claims just didn't make any sense at all. Especially the way that Signal works technically. So I have setup Signal on a second phone, added both contacts to each other, messaged each other. Now we wait.



Again, you are the one who state I make claims. I am not explaining it again. Good luck with testing, there is no use in trying to communicate with someone like you.


@hansw @Erik

The only way to be spammed in Signal is if someone has you phone number. But would apply to an phone-number based communication system.


Maybe one of my contacts has been hacked, who knows. I tried Telegram too and it does not happen with that app.



B.t.w., I can recommend F-droid for apps. This gives a bit more privacy since often the google services are disabled there.


@Erik I've converted a few to Telegram, since - at the time - Signal was too bare-bones to be considered by normies. Also: usable multi-device was not possible with Signal, not sure if it is now. Those are hard requirements.

I agree with @bsm that Matrix is a bit hard to grasp for newcomers, although it would otherwise be a great choice.

@doenietzomoeilijk @Erik In my opinion: if you want #security and #privacy, then #Telegram isn‘t really an option.

In the meantime, the team of #Signal did his homework and offers now a very good (super secure and privacy-friendly) #messenger service.

@bsm @Erik I'm sure Signal is more trustworthy than Telegram, although I still somewhat trust Telegram. Point is, my friends and family members aren't going to *keep* switching messengers, they're not into that stuff like you and me are.

As for the ones that still need to be weaned off the Facebook teat.. we'll see about that.

@Erik Signal: ID is the phone number and every user can find friend via Contacts. Elements is not the same is think. it's more like email. True ?


Unfortunately Signal is the only option for normal people.

Would prefer Element for sure. Or Jami once they deliver group chats.

@Erik due to WhatsApp?
Same like long ago: telegram.
It's easy to use and people don't move if it is complicated/ small user base.

@Erik setting up element is not exactly user-friendly while you don’t have to do anything special on signal.

@Erik @sexybiggetje that‘s correct. So the server just search for the same hashed phone number, but not the number itself. So the metadata is at a extreme low level.

#Telegram: the last thing, that wasn‘t really pleasant was, that Telegram is always able to locate - they know you‘re exact home address. If wanna read (just in German) some more:


Just the client alone: Signal. I really dislike the "browser to local website" electron quasi-GUI. It's platform-independent but creates a security hole while limiting its usefulness.

Based on the protocol properties: Matrix -- but not sure how well non-technical users can deal with it at the moment.

Also: Should have included Threema:
- centralized
- funding: 2.50 CHF per account, once, free thereafter
- not locked to phone number
- Switzerland
- for-profit, no venture capital

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