Recently, more and more Web 3.0 enthusiasts called us out to join their Discord chat. Discord is another instant messaging social platform that appeared in 2015 specifically for the gaming community but suddenly obtained its popularity now in 2022 within the new internet generation development. What’s so special about this messenger, and why did it gain its significance for Web 3.0?
Before we dive into the history of Discord’s appearance, let’s glance at its characteristics.
The messenger has a mobile, desktop, and browser version. The push-to-talk mode works only if the browser tab with the application is active.
There is an option of creating public and private chats to exchange text messages. Apart from that, Discord users can arrange voice and video conferences by configuring the communication channel and working on the principle of push-to-talk. In 2017 Discord added screen sharing and integrations with Twitch, Spotify, and Xbox Live as some of the features.
In Discord, the users can also attach files and media limited to 8 MB and links with a preview for some web pages. To send the file of a bigger size, a subscription to Discord Nitro must be purchased. That’s also Discord’s largest source of revenue stream.
The messenger has flexible interface settings. The users can install different themes and add-ons to expand the functionality. It is also possible to format not only the text in messages or servers but to change the nickname fonts using special services based on Unicode symbols.
Based on the listed features, it may seem that this messenger does not have any features that would distinguish Discord from other software of this kind. However, users like to engage with this platform for different reasons. To understand why Discord gained popularity so fast, let’s take a look at the history of the messenger.
Discord is listed as “Chat for Gamers” in most app stores. Indeed, initially, Discord was designed by gamers, for gamers, and has everything players need down to the smallest detail. For example, it consumes a minimum of resources and does not even automatically launch gifs (mini-rollers), so that the game does not slow down. Even Discord’s advertising slogan was utterly straightforward: “It’s time to abandon Skype and TeamSpeak” (referring to the other platforms that gamers used in the past). This led to the fact that the service has been popularized by e-sports players, including Twitch.tv users and gaming communities.
Unsurprisingly, the Covid-19 pandemic helped Discord to become even more popular, and this time not only among gamers. Even some schools, businesses, and trading communities chose Discord as a service for online communication. Thus, Discord gained a larger audience with diverse interests that crowded the platform. In 2017, it had 45 million users; in 2018 - 130 million; in 2019 - 250 million; in 2020 - 300 million; and in 2021 - 350 million. Not only userbase has increased, but also daily time spent on the platform.
Jason Citron, the creator of Discord, was surprised to find out that a third of platform users have nothing to do with games. Now Discord is refocusing from gamers to a mass audience to compete with Microsoft Teams and Slack. That is why the messenger has been redesigned.
So why did users choose this new and previously unknown platform? We already have a bunch of different established communication platforms that offer pretty much the same features as Discord. So what’s the secret?
“Imagine a place...where you can belong to a school club, a gaming group, or a worldwide art community. Where just you and a handful of friends can spend time together. A place that makes it easy to talk every day and hang out more often.” - you see this quote firstwhen you visit the official Discord website. Citron himself saw the future of the service as something like a bar from Cheers (TV show): “A place where everybody knows your name. A place where you can be with your friends, talk, and share as much as you want.”
Discord creates this cozy virtual place where the users can have a feeling of belonging. In other words, Discord is about community. It allows users to create an invite-only home for their friends or group, a place where they can talk, hang out with friends, and just have fun. it’s like walking into a room with friends, plopping down on the couch, and casually asking: “What’s up?”
And now, we approach the main question: Why is Discord so important for Web 3.0? The answer derives from the idea described above - the platform managed to gather people in the communities.
In our previous article, we wrote about the strong influential role community plays when it comes to selling NFTs. In fact, the community is a decisive factor for NFTs, since its size determines the number of requests from users and buyers in the market of operations. The larger the community, the more people are willing to buy NFTs. Discord, in its turn, is a great tool for creating communities: A group of people establishes a community with common interests to spend time together beyond any location boundaries. Once the community members develop a really strong bond, they can be converted into potential NFT buyers.
But it’s not only about NFT. Discord is often used as the main platform by most DeFi and NFTs projects and plays a vital role in their ecosystem. Sandbox, Star Atlas, Somnium Space, and many others have an official server to communicate with their community.
Also, in Discord, users can interact directly with important figures, such as CEOs, game developers, and artists, about innovations, fashion, and technologies, like NFT, blockchain, crypto, metaverse, and other Web 3.0 topics. Users get verified and reliable news, opinions, and insights from the different Web 3.0 fields.
Just like other platforms, Discord collects certain private information from users that allows them to create a personal account, provide platform services, enforce obligations to users, and comply with legal requirements.
Discord retains information for as long as the user has an active Discord account. Some information can be removed directly from the services. Discord may also retain information for a specified period of time for certain purposes, typically in case of an open dispute between the company and a user.
Users can restrict the collection of certain data. Discord claims that all users are in control of how their information is used and can directly edit or delete information.
Users from European Union can be ensured that the GDPR grants them the following rights:
Discord is a great alternative to other programs for communication. It has a lot of advantages and a simple and intuitive interface. That’s incredible how fast Discord gained its audience and became a place where people can share their interests, find companions and learn more about the Web 3.0 world. Use it or not – the decision is yours 😉.