April 1, 2020
Inside Discord – The Gaming Chat Platform That’s Bigger Than Slack

Inside Discord – The Gaming Chat Platform That’s Bigger Than Slack

Gaming and community have always been
deeply, deeply intertwined, and as gaming has become more competitive in
nature and as more clan-based mechanics have been introduced into
games, there’s real world relationships that are being formed. And Discord just makes that communication
much, much easier than had been previously available. Slack and Skype are examples of popular
platforms that allow for casual and professional conversation through text,
video and voice. But there’s another chat platform
that has become increasingly popular with gamers. It’s called Discord. It’s a free chat app designed for
gamers to connect both when they’re playing games and when they’re not. A modest concept, so it would seem. But the company is valued at over
two billion dollars and has more daily users than Slack. It’s almost like these poker games
that maybe your grandfather played or those bridge matches that
your grandmother played. They’ll organize something on a Saturday,
sit around the table and talk about everything, including the
game they’re playing. Modern gamers do that as well. They just happen to do it from their
living rooms or in front of their computers. Discord launched in May of 2015 and
has been rapidly growing ever since, tripling its user base in 2018. Now Discord has roughly 250 million
users and 14 million daily active users. Compare that to Slack, which has
just 10 million daily active users and you’ll begin to realize just
how huge the gaming community is. The size of the global video gaming
industry was $96 billion in 2018, and the industry has become one of the
fastest growing segments in the global media and entertainment market. As a gamer himself, CEO
Jason Citron saw an opportunity. The idea for Discord came from looking
at our own experiences, playing lots of online games back around 2014 and
sort of noticing that the tools that we were using to play
these games were pretty outdated. The tools that we were using
didn’t have good mobile apps. You couldn’t send pictures to your friends
in them, and the voice quality we knew could be better. And so what we really did was
create an all-in-one voice video and text chat app that replaced this constellation
of tools that people would use. Citron says other gaming apps like
TeamSpeak use outdated technology while services like Skype or WhatsApp didn’t
cater to the video game market. We saw an opportunity to
really blend those two. Take the things that the legacy systems
did really well in terms of supporting gamer’s needs, but take
advantage of modern technology stocks, modern UX, making sure it
was available on all devices. So that you can use it when you’re on
your phone and away from your PC or away from your console. The company’s rapid rise is partly due
to the video game streaming site Twitch, as well as LAN
Tournaments, E-Sports competitions and the popularity of games like Fortnite. Popular streamers and competitive gamers
were early adopters and others quickly caught on. Now about 315 million messages are
sent through the platform every day. Discord’s growth isn’t meteoric. None of their competitors, gaming specific
competitors, have sort of been able to scale with them
or grow over time. And now it’s 2019, even three
and a half, four years later. A lot of their competitors still don’t
have features that they rolled out in their first year. Discord emphasizes privacy. Users need custom invite links to join
servers and channels can be set to private. So unlike other social media products, with
Discord, you have to say I’m joining this group or I’m going to add
this person as a friend in order to talk with them. And then in groups, we offer moderators, a
lot of tools to be able to control their space, ban users and
make sure that the kind of conversations that they want to have
happening meet the bar that they expect. However, the emphasis on privacy
can be a double-edged sword. Various alt-right and white supremacist groups
have set up servers on Discord, drawn to
the platform’s anonymity. They use Discord to organize the
“Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. And after the gathering ended,
with three dead and dozens injured, the company came under fire. Many said it should have done
more to moderate conversations and ban inappropriate content. While Discord wouldn’t comment on this,
it did eventually ban many servers devoted to white nationalism. Discord’s terms of service prohibit
harassment, threats and calls to violence. But still, the company only
looks into content if it’s reported. But it’s not just bad actors who
are using Discord for purposes beyond gaming. Though the company markets itself
explicitly to gamers, there are several servers devoted to everything from
stock trading to meme sharing and fantasy football. I have a group of friends
that all game with one another. And now, you know, when we get off
work, often times our go-to when we want to sort of unwind is to go
to our Discord channel and hang out. You know, it’s a social platform as much
as it is, I think a utility. The company has raised about 280
million dollars in funding, and it’s gaining users around the world
at a rate of 2.5 million people per week. We’re a truly global product. You know gaming culture is one of the
few kinds of things that people do that actually cuts across all
cultures in the world. And so you can play in a League
of Legends and connect around League of Legends with someone basically no
matter where they are. Discord generates revenue through its
games marketplace and premium subscriptions. The game store launched in
October of last year and Discord takes a 10 % cut of all purchases. As for the subscription service,
there are two levels. This gives users access to additional
features, higher upload limits and free games. Discord hopes these offerings will eventually
help to turn a profit, but it’s in no rush. The company closed its seventh funding
round in December, netting 150 million dollars . All of this for an
app where gamers can chat? Citron isn’t surprised. Gaming helped me spend time and build
relationships with the people that I cared about. And that’s what Discord brings to
everyone in the gaming community.

100 thoughts on “Inside Discord – The Gaming Chat Platform That’s Bigger Than Slack

  1. If you haven't heard of Slack it's because you've never worked in an office. Slack costs a fee to operate a server, and is intended for business users.

  2. Am I supposed to be surprised that it’s bigger then slack? I mean the women sounds shocked, but I’ve never even heard of slack

  3. I use discord for talking and shiz but when it comes to gaming, all goes to teamspeak for no eating system resources. lets play a big game! Opens discord …. loooks at taskmanager Discord: Memory: 1gb CPU:30% GPU:0%
    Also they use JS lmfao

  4. The problem of irresponsibility is HUGE especially on Steam Games Valve platformclient. It's ridiculous. Yes on Discord they tightened the string on this but they still are very laissez faire

  5. Can anyone link me the page being shown at 0:38?

    The one with the list of discord servers.

  6. Discord please fix one thing, please let us send recorded stuff because all i can do is send gifs and links but not videos that i recorded.

  7. Discord is great but I think there is a large percentage that are not gamers, in my experience. Most people just come to talk to friends and new people.

  8. Really not a fan of the way you talk about privacy and anonymity like they're bad things. Privacy is a vital aspect of a free society, we need private spaces where we don't have government or corporate eyes on us at all times if we're ever going to be truly free in the information age.

    Does that enable some bad people to do some bad things? Sure, but so does the fourth amendment. Personally, I'm not willing to give up any of my freedoms for the sake of stamping out speech I find distasteful.

  9. I remember telling all my friends In 2015 on Skype to download Discord and they thought I was crazy… now they all on it

  10. i used discord from when they started and uhh i was underaged lol, nice to see they are more big now.

  11. Privacy focused? Don't make me laugh. Nothing on discord is encrypted and as far as I understand the terms of service, they are allowed to use our data for various statistical analyses.

  12. discord: we'll make a chatting app for gaming.
    people: 75% of people dont even use it for gaming purposes.

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