You can have proprietary tools and get a lot of traction, but you’ll never get a big part of the market if you have a closed system. This is where Rocket.Chat is different, and this is why we’re growing. With a closed system, you inevitably create barriers that keep some people from adopting; with open source, and as a main driver for how we run Rocket.Chat, you can be extremely inclusive. We’re giving people as many options as possible concerning, for example, how you host or what you use Rocket.Chat to do. We use the most popular language. We’re trying to knock down all the barriers so that there is no reason why you can’t use Rocket.Chat. The idea is to become a new, inclusive standard for communication. That is a large gap, and we are positioned well to fill it, so why not?
Chat is just a perfect contemporary way for communications. It is not as slow and verbose as email, yet more full featured and expressive than plain old SMS/text. It has the archival and history tracking feature of a forum or BBS, yet offers the immediate interactivity of a messenger. It is the coming-of-age of the collaboration hub.
In terms of new things people will be using Rocket.Chat for, I see it becoming a new way for people from different organizations, multiple organizations, to reach outside of their organization and talk to each other, to create shared projects and to use shared channels. This is something that doesn’t happen enough, and doesn’t happen efficiently; we can change that by adding federation to Rocket.Chat.
We’re also adding a video conference layer that’s much more robust than our alpha version. It has all the functionality for video conferencing and sharing, including sharing with thousands of users, streaming publicly or within just a single project or organization, recording to view later, and so on. It will be exciting to see how people respond and what they use that functionality for.
We’re also creating a bots and apps store, so that users can build new extensions and functionalities, and then publish those and share them with other users very easily. The result, I hope, will be a new level of proliferation of extensions and features, people making and sharing rapidly, continuing to build on the snowball effect that served us so well up to now.
At the same time, Rocket.Chat is almost custom-tailored for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. We run well on small, inexpensive IoT devices, including the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero system-on-a-stick; our message delivery engine, together with Hubot-based technologies, enable IoT devices to communicate and collaborate with one another on a level not possible with the currently popular MQTT based networks.
Once again, this just opens up a world of possibilities for what can be done with the platform to enable privately hosted chat services. We can’t wait to see what the community does next!