Matrix is a federated encrypted communications network. Matrix is decentralized; anyone may set up a home server and join the Matrix Universe. And users can choose to register with a home server they prefer. And if they come to dislike their home server account migration is simple. Messages are replicated across servers which makes Matrix global.
Problems with existing platforms
- Slack, Discord, etc are proprietary among other issues.
- Telegram has questionable encryption among other issues.
- IRC is not global among other issues.
There are various Matrix clients.
- Riot is the flagship client and keeps up to date with the Matrix spec.
- Weechat (IRC client) has a Matrix plugin.
Matrix channels can be bridged to Telegram, IRC, etc so that communications are relayed between them. There are bridges for IRC, Telegram, Discord, Gitter, Slack, Skype, Lync, XMPP, etc.
In the future, Matrix will switch to a hybrid model in which users may optionally access the network without a homeserver.