What is Discord? All You Need to Know About the Group-Chatting Platform
Discord launched in 2015 and has since become one of the most popular group-chatting apps available. Initially created to help gamers build their own communities and talk to each other, Discord has since expanded to communities from all over the internet from K-Pop stans to artists to writers. Though it has been consistently popular since its conception, Discord boomed during the pandemic as people had more time to spend online, and the platform now has more than 140 million active monthly users.
Discord is available on Mac, PC, iPhone and Android devices and lets friends and community members communicate directly via voice, video or text and join servers where communities can interact together.
But what exactly is Discord?
What is Discord?
Discord is a group-chatting platform that allows friends and communities to communicate with each other. Members can engage with different communities by joining relevant servers that are filled with text channels and voice channels. Text channels allow users to type to talk to others, while voice channels allow users to voice chat with others.
Each server is typically made up of multiple channels that are dedicated to a specific topic or have different rules. For example, one channel might discuss a particular game and another for general chatting.
It is completely free for Discord users to create their own servers, so the likelihood is there will be a pre-existing server for your interest. If not, it’s simple enough to make your own. Each server has its own set of rules and are often moderated by external moderators. Anyone breaking the rules can be temporarily or permanently banned from the server.
Since Discord was initially created with gamers in mind, it’s very useful if you’re playing PC games. The app makes chatting with other players easy and it’s easy to search and add friends for quick communication. The easy communication makes Discord a great app to use while playing games, but also to organise and socialise in general.
How to use Discord
One of the best features of Discord is its versatility. There are plenty of ways to communicate with friends or community members while gaming, but often they are tied to specific platforms or consoles. With Discord, you can integrate it directly with your Xbox account and from 2022, with your Playstation (though there are unofficial ways to connect Discord and Playstation in the meantime).
Joining and using discord is as easy as using the service on your browser or downloading the free app that is available across the majority of devices. Then, you can join a server (by search or invite) or create your own. Discord users can join up to 100 servers and can decide the types of notifications they want to receive from them.
Servers are made up of various channels that have their own sub-topics or themes. In these channels, users can communicate through text, voice or video options—which can often result in a large amount of notifications. These channels can be further sorted into categories. Users can personalise their nicknames for each server they join.
A single server can have up to 250,000 members, but only 25,000 can be online at once for the server to run smoothly without support from Discord. The maximum number of channels is 500 and for categories is 50.
Within Discord, you can have public and private servers. Private servers are where you can hang out with your friends without strangers joining in. Public servers are typically created for and by fans around a common subject to chat and foster their community (these are kept safe and friendly by moderators). Within public servers, game developers have been known to interact with users on verified servers dedicated to their game, further developing a loyal and engaged community.
While Discord is free, there is a premium option called Discord Nitro, available for £99.99 per annum. Discord Nitro “enhances your all-in-one Discord voice, video and text chat” by offering better emojis, more profile personalisation, server support, larger file uploads and higher video quality.
Why Discord is good for brands
While Discord doesn’t sell advertising, it has potential for brands to focus on building and nurturing its communities. Discord has a partner program in which it works with brands to create their own servers for their communities.
Discord allows brands to control who is involved in their public and private servers and allows brands to customise members. Brands can assign members roles and access to different channels within their servers. This brings a sense of belonging to the community.
Brands can send personal invitations to customers and influencers by email or through links on websites and social pages. Discord offers a more private and personal community setting than other platforms, so posts can be hyper-targeted to specific groups, creating more relevance and engagement.
By having a private server, brands are able to create an exclusive community. Members of this server will feel increased brand loyalty as they have access to information and content that isn’t available on other social platforms.
Having a community within Discord allows members to congregate in one space. This means they can nurture and maintain the community and communication on their own by sharing their own thoughts, opinions and tips and tricks to others that care.
While brands can create their own servers, they can also join existing public servers. Brands can join servers that are relevant within their industry and to their target audience to position themselves as leaders in conversations or work with influencers to drive conversations.
Brands can initially join servers to listen to organic conversations about them to guide conversations (or create their own servers). Discord presents brands with the opportunity to converse with their target audience directly and receive honest feedback—this is part of the reason the platform is so popular with the gaming community.
Brands can listen to this feedback and create a product, service or community environment that caters to their audience’s every want and need. Not only does this build a loyal community for a brand, but makes a brand appear transparent and humanlike, instantly adding to the likeability.
The versatility of communication methods within Discord makes it an ideal platform for customer service. Consumers now use social media to solve issues they’re having and they spend 20-40% more time with companies that engage with them on social platforms.
Discord is ideal for customer service because brands can easily have private conversations with members. Using Discord to resolve customer issues fosters a community environment where customers feel valued, which keeps them coming back for more.