When comparing Riot vs Matrix, the Slant community recommends Riot for most people. In the question“What are the best instant messaging clients for Linux?” Riot is ranked 2nd while Matrix is ranked 5th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Uses Matrix, the open communications protocol
Pro Supports text, voice, video
Integrates with Jitsi for multi-party video chats
Pro Web and mobile (iOS, Android) versions available
Pro Bridges to other networks
You're not confined within Riot's or even Matrix garden, and you don't have to make users of other networks switch to Matrix.
Pro Widgets support
Want to watch that flick at YouTube and discuss it at the same time? Have Grafana graphs stacked above your DevOps team chat? Collaboratively edit Google Docs and chat over without switching applications? This is possible with Riot.
Pro Very good and simple interface
Riot has a very simple interface, adding the ability for more unexperienced PC-Users to use it.
Pro Built on an open standard
Matrix is an open standard, defining simple HTTP APIs so that devs can easily write their own clients, bots, bridges or servers. You're not locked into a specific set of implementations.
Pro Bridges other networks into a single decentralised network
Matrix has bridges to IRC (freenode, moznet, oftc, snoonet etc), Slack, Gitter, Rocket.Chat, XMPP, SMS, SIP and others. The point is to 'matrix' all the different networks out there into one single decentralised network.
Pro Has an easy to use client called Riot
Riot.im is the easiest way to use Matrix, with great clients for Web, iOS and Android (and Fdroid).
Pro Does not require a centralized server to establish a connection between two users
Matrix is decentralized, there's no one central point that the information goes through and so no once central point of failure or control.
Pro Has an app store for 3rd party integrations & bots
Riot.im includes an app store with integrations for Github, JIRA, Jenkins, Giphy etc - and anyone can add more via Matrix.
Pro Maintains full conversation history
Pro Supports different kinds of communication
Matrix is designed to support Instant Messaging, VoIP/WebRTC signalling (voice and video) and Internet of Things communication.
Pro Offers choice of clients
Which can be found here.
Pro Can be integrated with existing communication services
Matrix is designed to support Instant Messaging, VoIP/WebRTC signalling and Internet of Things communication and allows cross-communication between those services. Meaning one person could be using IRC and another Slack for IMs, or one person could be using Skype and another Google Hangouts for videoconferencing.
Pro Has an active community behind it
Pro Matrix prioritizes direct messaging with people the same as Slack-style groups
Matrix aims to "provide an analogous ecosystem to email - one where you can communicate with pretty much anyone, without caring what app or server they are using" using a neutral identity system.
Pro End-to-end encryption
Matrix features end-to-end encrypted chats which are syncronized accross all your devices.
Con Still in active yet early development
There is clearly a User Experience issue esp. in web version which the developers are aware of and are working hard to improve. They've got the concept concrete, so UX won't be an issue in no time. Most often used parts are functional, but some are yet not.
The success of riot depends on how fast the development is, or it'll get outdated too quickly as developers of Signal and Telegram have predicted.
Con Keys cannot be checked automatically
You cannot automatically check keys of your recipients. Only manually.