IRCNow cannot compete with Matrix/Fediverse in the mainstream user demographics currently because of our limited feature set. As you know, IRC is harder to use and requires more technical skill.
However, there are a few key markets where IRCNow can shine. Our strategy should focus on marketing to these underserved users who will quickly adopt IRCNow:
- FOSS sysadmins/developers -- IRC is by far the best social hangout for technical minded, free software users. IRC is the home of the free software community -- neither Matrix nor Fediverse have successfully invaded this niche.
- Niche OS users -- think OpenBSD, NetBSD, Slackware, Gentoo, Haiku ... because they are sufficiently non-mainstream, matrix / fediverse clients often don't work properly
- Non-western users -- half of the world's computer users live outside of the USA and Western Europe. Matrix/Fediverse have neglected Eastern Europe, Asia, Middle East, South American, and African markets. However, it's better if they either know how to speak English or are willing to learn English. Users that are unwilling to learn English are unable to help our network.
- Poorer users -- Some users continue to use 10-20 year old computer hardware. Some do it to recycle old hardware. Others do it to save money. Still others do it out of habit. In China, millions continue to use Windows XP and Android 4. These users will refuse to upgrade to hardware/software that can run Matrix/Fediverse, but they can immediately use IRC and email.
- Religious / political dissidents -- matrix.org and mastodon will censor political / religious speech on the grounds of "hate speech"
- Privacy advocates -- IRC can allow total anonymity; users can connect with pseudonyms behind VPNs and tor. Element (matrix's main client) currently involves Google tracking.
- Users with Disabilities -- Users with vision, hearing, or fine movement issues will find IRC easier to use because it is more accessible. For example, screen readers work very easily with IRC's text interface
- Rural users with slow internet -- Users with dialup, 1Mbps dsl, or high-latency satellite will appreciate IRC's low latency and bandwidth. In many parts of the world, fast bandwidth is not available no matter how rich you are.
- Young kids and parents -- Our network is education-focused. IRCNow has a strict no porn, no illegal drugs policy designed to make it safer for kids to hang out on this social network.