What is Discord, the popular community chat app?

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If you’re a gamer you probably know what Discord is.

However, the group chat service has now gone well beyond its original purpose in the gaming world. However, you may have heard of Discord and still not entirely sure what it is or what it is for.

Look no further, Mashable will break down Discord right here for you.

What is discord?

At its core, Discord is a web-based communication app. If you’re familiar with chat services like Slack, which many users are familiar with because of their widespread use in the business world, Discord falls into the same category.

However, when Discord was first released by Jason Citron and Stanislav Vishnevskiy in 2015, the app quickly became popular with gamers. Both co-founders worked and were in the video game industry Looking for to build a better communication tool. So it made sense to find Discord among the users who envisioned it.

This is what a Discord server looks like on both the desktop and mobile device.
Credit: Discord

On Discord, users can participate in voice and video chats, send private text-based messages, and participate in communities called “servers” on the platform.

Over the years, Discord has grown in popularity, moving from a tool for gamers to a full-fledged service for anyone looking to chat or join online communities. Users can even create their own communities, also known as servers, and invite users to join. On each server, users can set up channels dedicated to specific topics so that users on each server can congregate with others on the topics they want to discuss.

How much does Discord cost?

Joining Discord is completely free. Yes, other chat services like Slack have free tiers with messaging limits.

Discord has no such limits. It’s completely free to use with full access to your messages, history, communities, etc. What’s more, it’s also free to start your own server.

However, there are paid subscriptions to bonuses and perks.

For $ 9.99 per month or $ 99.99 per year, users can sign up for Discord Nitro. This subscription gives users access to free games in the Discord shop and offers platform extras like animated avatars, custom full site emojis, larger file upload sizes, and more.

Nitro subscriptions are pretty simple, but server boosts can get expensive.

Nitro subscriptions are pretty simple, but server boosts can get expensive.
Photo credit: Discord

For $ 4.99, users can subscribe to a cheaper version of the paid service, Discord Nitro Classic, which offers all platform bonuses except the free games.

Perks like additional custom emojis or higher quality audio chats can also be purchased for a specific server via a server boost. Each server boost costs $ 4.99. Two server boosts are included in a Discord Nitro subscription.

The two server boosts included in the Discord Nitro Sub are enough to give your server access to the first tier. There are three tiers in total, each of which offers additional paid perks like more slots for custom emojis or even brand new bonuses like a vanity URL for your server.

Why did Discord become so popular?

Some social networking platforms and chat apps are available during the COVID-19 pandemic Experienced exponential growth as people tried to connect online.

Discord has more than 140 million monthly active users from the end of 2020, according to the company.

Find public Discord servers to participate in a wide variety of topics.

Find public Discord servers to participate in a wide variety of topics.
Credit: screenshot: mashable

However, Discord likely benefited from an added bonus: the rise in Content creator.

Discord has become an extremely popular tool for YouTubers, podcasters, live streamers, and other online influencers who use the platform to build their internet communities.

For example, Patreon, a monetization tool developers use to allow their fans to purchase paid subscriptions to each developer’s content, has even built Discord into their service. Users who subscribe to a creator’s Patreon can be automatically invited to a private Discord server set up by the individual creator and interact with other fans in a VIP room for paying subscribers.

Discord also offers other perks that contributed to its rise.

Live streamers can easily take audio and video calls from guests or other viewers via Discord. There are multiplayer games that can be enjoyed through Discord’s screen sharing feature. There are integrations with other services so you can listen to Spotify with friends in real time, for example. And there are bots that you can set up to automate various tasks or provide additional functionality like surveys or message notifications.

Is Discord Safe?

If that rundown sold you on Discord, that’s great. It’s a versatile platform with many different uses.

However, Discord is not intended for secure communication. It’s not a substitute for an app like signal. It is not end-to-end encrypted and any data you post goes through Discord’s servers. Your data is vulnerable to security breaches.

In fact, there have been quite a few stories over the years of unauthorized users gaining access to private Discord servers and deleting content communities.

Hacktivists also took advantage of these vulnerabilities, however. There have been numerous cases of nefarious groups, such as white supremacy and far-right organizations who are being poached for unauthorized access to their private Discover servers. Last year, however, Discord did clamped down on such users.

Where can I access Discord?

Users can access Discord at Discord.com and chat on their servers directly in their web browser when they log into their account.

There are also desktop applications for Windows and Mac computers, as well as mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.


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