Messaging systems that require you to give out your phone number as identification are ... at best, suboptimal. See Signal, Telegram.
I realize it makes many things easy, but it's got so many drawbacks (starting with security) that I can't really accept it as a compromise.
@liw Telegram added the usernames on top so you don't have to share your number everywhere, but that's still not great.
My use case, which I think is probably common is that I have a small child who doesn't have a SIM. It would be nice to be able to text when he's on the net though.
Works with iMessage...
@ted It seems to me that Telegram still requires one to have a phone number, but it's a step forward if those one communicates with don't have to have it.
I've not use iMessage (not being in the Apple ecosystem), but Matrix works without phone numbers too, which is a thing I like about it.
@liw yeah, I'm optimistic about Matrix in general. We'll see if it can continue to grow.
@ted Aye. I've been mostly quite satisfied with it. There may be a little too much centralization in practise, though, until I get the tuits to set up my own home server or find someone to do it for me.
@liw Mad respect for you but I think that what often gets lost in these conversations is the idea of a threat model and comparison.
Is Signal better or worse than [fill in the blank]?
Is it worse than a verified OMEMO on top of XMPP where you run your own server? No.
Is it better than plain text? Heck yes!
Is it better than WhatsApp? Heck yes!
And I can get people to use Signal in just a few minutes.
Let's not make the great the enemy of the good.
@emacsen I agree that Signal is good in many ways. That does not excuse its use of phone numbers, to me.
Also, a bunch of my friends stopped using Signal because it broke badly: they don't get a notification of a new message.
Lars and friends