Hello, everyone! Today I’m just going to rave and give a short introduction about a messaging app you all might have heard of: Discord.
Discord is a free VoIP app that was designed for gamers and launched on March 6th, 2015. So two years ago. Its stable release was just three months ago, on May 3rd, 2017. The founder of Discord initially started with OpenFeint, a gaming platform designed for mobile games. He sold it in 2011 and founded a game dev studio in 2012 with the money, developing it to be the first MOBA game for mobile devices. It wasn’t very popular, but while preparing the game, he realized how difficult it was to communicate to his friends and employees with the current options. I remember that when I was a regular League player, my friends either used Skype or TeamSpeak, which were laggy, bloated and have been plagued with security issues. Plus their design is just so outdated! In contrast, Discord is fresh, sleek, and beautiful. It definitely fits in with current design trends.
The lack of reliable VoIP services is what inspired Jason Citron (the founder) to create Discord. If you’re active on Reddit, then you’re probably familiar with the phenomenon known as the “Reddit hug of death.” Basically, Reddit’s audience is so massive that if a post there goes viral, it can cause servers to crash because so many Redditors are trying to see the site at the same time.
If you can make the Reddit community fall in love with a program or website, you’ve hit the jackpot. (I’m on Reddit almost all the time and Reddit really is super-influential on the Internet. For example, so many viral posts from online publications are basically just Reddit comments that someone took a screenshot of and turned into a listicle. I’m kind of salty about that, idk). Anyways: Citron pushed Discord to different Reddit gaming communities, and that strategy actually paid off: gamers were switching en masse from their old VoIP services to Discord.
Discord was designed for gamers. It’s usable on PCs, the web, and even on phones. Since it’s designed to work with massive games, it has to be quick and lightweight. A few seconds of lag can completely turn around the outcome of a game, especially for collaborative games where communication is essential. Discord has plans to add video calling and screen sharing within the app, making it even better and usable for–everyone.
The beautiful thing about Discord is that it’s totally free to use. You don’t have to pay to call anyone or send things or make groups. You can make and join as many groups as you want! I guess if you wanted to create 100 different servers you could, but I don’t know what you would use them for.
When I heard that, I actually felt kind of bad for the company because it seems a bit difficult to make a profit, but apparently they’re planning to have monetized customization. You can pay to have an animated profile photo, a special badge, and custom emojis. Discord is a really fantastic app–in my opinion, it’s way better than Skype, TeamSpeak, and other services I’ve used.
Now—I actually first heard of Discord from my writer friends who used it to create a writing club. And that’s what’s so amazing about Discord. It’s not just for gamers anymore. It’s been adopted and touted by so many communities as the best place to meet online. I love all the features. It’s nice being able to react to something people say with different emojis, and I love how you can separate different conversations within one group. For example, in my writing group, there’s are different channels like “bios” for introduction, “self-promotion” to share published work, and “inspiration”, where we can add quotes or posts we found on the Internet that really encourage our craft. I’m in another group for tarot, too. Games like PAD, which I talked about in another post, also have a dedicated Discord server for gamers to join and discuss the game.
It’s crazy to think about how far we’ve come regarding forming communities online. We went from Friendster and Myspace to Facebook and finally to Discord, which is way better than group messages on iPhones with all their crazy notifications! I hope that businesses will also turn to Discord in the future because it’s just so seamless and clean and user-friendly. I used Slack for a while and for some reason I just liked Discord more.
Anyways–what do you think about Discord? Have you downloaded it for your PC? I hope that it’ll be around for a long time and that it’ll become an industry standard!