Internet chat is a terrible hellscape and it's saddened me for almost two decades.
Unlike email and the web, the dominant systems for instant messaging have been proprietary forever. Sure, XMPP exists, but nobody uses it. There was a chance when Google Talk was using it, but ever since Google stopped federating, that's basically fucked.
Now we're seeing the slow death of IRC too at the hands of better but more proprietary user experiences being offered by Skype and Slack.
And it's easy to see why too. The proprietary chat tools out there like Slack are absolutely incredible user experiences.
If IRC and XMPP are ever going to be competitive with the new proprietary guys in town, it needs to get competitive on the usability front.
If we ever want to reclaim our freedom, we have to find a way to make XMPP is as usable as WhatsApp and IRC is as usable as Slack.
I don't really know how to do that. I wish I did. But I think the internet would benefit massively from it. Imagine if there were 5 different competing proprietary protocols for email or webpages? That's the world we live in now for internet chat. It doesn't have to be this way.