The original plan for Tor Messenger – just like most software connected with the Tor Project – was to create a cross-platform chat program that would be secure because it sent its data over the secure Tor network. It aimed to support a wide variety of chat networks like Jabber (XMPP), IRC, Google Talk, Facebook, and Twitter among others, but the developers have found that there were issues in the development that they couldn’t overcome – hence Tor Messenger is being shut down as of April 2.

Firstly, Tor Messenger was being developed on top of Mozilla’s Instantbird messaging client. Mozilla has since stopped the development of Instantbird and transferred its instant messaging features to Thunderbird. This meant that Tor Messenger would have to transition as well, and the developers couldn’t find strong reasons to give this amount of effort.

For one, the user base for Tor Messenger was not that big and the adoption rate was low. But the bigger issue was the metadata problem. Tor Messenger was meant for communicating over existing social networks, hence, user metadata could be logged by the servers being used. And while metadata info does not reveal actual data that can identify users, it can reveal patterns about user communication – who your friends are, when you talk to them, how much you talk to them, etc.

In light of these issues, the Tor Network decided to discontinue the work on Tor Messenger, which is a bit sad for those who actually use the software. Tor points to CoyIM as a possible alternative to Tor Messenger.

SOURCE: Tor Project