Skip to main content

Chat Apps

Chats are at the heart of planning your event or organising your group.

Read this page for the detailed information about choosing a chat, otherwise, read a summary below.

Telegram is used by XR UK for broadcasts

It’s an encrypted messaging service similar to Whatsapp but with greater flexibility and features. You can edit and pin messages, see the chat history, locate media and each chat can hold a large number of people. It’s also accessible on nearly any device. A limit on message wordcount can impact broadcast posts.

Mattermost is XR’s main messaging app for working groups

It functions on its own server making it particularly secure. It is accessible on any device, and has tons of flexible features and ways of storing and searching for information. The drawback is that it can be overwhelming in layout and content and requires time to master. It’s more similar to Slack or Discord.

Signal is used by action planning groups

It’s the most secure encrypted chat, with a disappearing message function. It’s also visually clean and crisp. However, it’s not possible to edit, pin or thread messages, making it less useful for mass communications.


Whatsapp is widely used by people outside of XR, but it is not secure and is limited in its functionalities so M&M does not advise using it for organising. It also doesn’t sync up with Mattermost or other XR broadcasts.

Chat management

Where possible please use existing chats, rather than creating more new ones. Let’s work together to prevent information overwhelm.

Consider one closed group chat for organising actions (usually a temporary group on signal or private Mattermost channel) and one open chat for participation (usually on Telegram/public Mattermost)

XR chats Guidelines

🎯 Be clear about the purpose of the chat and how people join (private invite only or by public link). Add this info to the chat description. Be aware of where the invite links are posted, e.g. don't add private invite links to the Rebel Toolkit - spammers will find these and join your group chats.

📌 If using Telegram, pin key messages and keep them updated. Or for other platforms put an info link in the header.

👥 Make sure you have several admins and moderators; preferably a small group who can support each other and make sure the chat is held.

👋🏿 Welcome newcomers. Answer questions and make sure people feel heard

❌ Avoid posting sensitive action info, naming organisers or any info which can later be used as evidence. Also be aware that infiltration is common on open chats, so don’t share anything that can be used against people as evidence.

📩Keep messages short and link out for more info (unless it’s a discussion thread). Take forward any issues via direct message or temporary small group chats

🙅🏼‍♂️ Block and report spammers

🥱 If a member of the group keeps posting off-topic messages or dominating the space respectfully ask them to stay on track, or switch to a more suitable channel. Create another space for them to be heard. If they continue, follow up with a direct message, or ultimately consider blocking them from the chat with an explanation. Mattermost Off-Topic channels are ideal.

♻️ Remind each other of chat etiquette, especially newcomers