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While Gen Z and Millennials’ aversion for answering a phone call is well established in the Internet meme culture, they still want to “talk” to their friends as much as possible. And with over 300 million registered users, Discord might be the biggest social media site you’ve barely heard of.
What Is Discord?
According to Commonsensemedia.org Discord is “a free app for mobile and PC that lets people chat via text, voice, or video in real time.” Originally envisioned as a “Chat for Gamers”, the site now bills itself as “Your place to talk and hangout”.
Discord users can join communities, aka servers, based on their interests. Any user can create a server and servers can be public or private. Private servers require an invitation to join. Each server is broken into channels like text or voice. These channels are how you interact with other users – they allow you to share gifs, images, videos, music and more.
The most appealing thing about Discord is that it’s truly platform agnostic. You can launch it from any device whether it’s a mobile phone, tablet, or PC and for gamers it allows you to chat with anyone no matter if they’re playing on Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch or a PC game. You can even use Discord servers to watch Netflix or listen to music with your friends.
Who uses Discord?
According to Discord, they have over 100 million monthly active users and 4 billion daily server conversation minutes. Because Discord started out as a site for gamers, many of its early adopters were younger males and its largest public server is Fornite, with 571,000 members. However, as with many of the technology apps that experienced an unprecedented boost during the beginning months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Discord has seen an expansion of its user base. While the site doesn’t collect data on its users demographics, it stands to reason that a significant percentage of its newer users are female and/or “older generations”.
Why is Discord in the news?
Recently Discord Inc. was in acquisition negotiations with Microsoft. However the company rejected Microsoft’s $12 million bid and appears now to be eyeing an IPO. With their rise in popularity and valuation doubling in less than six months, it seems clear that the company wants to continue to innovate and grow according to their own vision, rather than become an entity tied to a large established tech corporation.
The Future of Discord
While the future of many of these trendy new technology websites and applications is uncertain, Discord is uniquely situated to take advantage of the current wave of enthusiasm for voice chat applications.
Still not clear on what discord, servers, and channels are? Click here to watch a short and simple video demonstrating how to use Discord.