Discord was initially launched in 2015 to provide gamers a platform where they could freely communicate and form tight-knit communities around their interests. According to a 2019 survey, it was ranked as the 11th most popular mobile social networking app in the US, reaching 8.03% of mobile users.
But over the last year, Discord became the go-to chat app for people from all sorts of backgrounds and niches. From like-minded Bitcoin enthusiasts to some zealous reptile lovers, you'll find all kinds of communities here.
As a result, there are currently 31,309 live websites that use Discord, which justifies its estimated revenue of $120 million in 2020.
The popularity of Discord has rightfully increased over the years, with its privacy features and easy-to-use interface.
Read ahead to find out what makes it better than other communication platforms out there.
Discord has everything you need in a good communication software with its voice chats, video calls, and text options. These let users get in touch with each other, which works perfectly for gamers to form communities, coordinate, and talk while playing.
Primarily a chat app, it makes chatting while playing games on PC very convenient. However, it is not just used by gamers, as a lot of people use it as a social and organizational tool.
This past year, Discord has become the default destination for Youtubers, influencers, and Instagrammers who want to build a community around their content and connect with audiences in a more meaningful way.
How Does Discord Work And What Can It Be Used For?
Discord is simply a communication software that allows the users to message or call one another. There are different communities on it, and each one is called a server, with individual text and voice channels for you to join. You can type, voice-chat, and share videos, links, images, music, etc.
You'll find that each channel has a unique topic or rules; for instance, one channel could be dedicated to games while another to sharing pictures of dogs, etc.
Discord serves as a social forum where people form private or public servers and discuss their shared interests. You can even start your own server if you can't find any worth joining for free. Try A Google search to find discord servers on your preferred topic or use the app's own search engine to look for a new channel.
Who doesn't like GIFs?
Discord allows you to add GIFs to your chats or mark your messages as spoilers using the "/giphy" or "/spoiler" commands, respectively.
It also lets you reach out to other people and directly message them to have a video or voice chat with them. Furthermore, it can also connect to other apps like Spotify or YouTube to improve your experience.
No matter what other activity you are doing, you can use Discord along with it. For instance, if your friends want to play a game, you can all launch the same Discord server and use any device to access it. Smack talk your friends' Mortal Combat or Street Fighter skills to your heart's content – no one's judging!
Interestingly, day traders and investors also hopped on the bandwagon because it lets them multitask and stay connected like a pro.
If these features weren't enough, Discord is also free to download and use. And if you love the experience of Discord, you can always upgrade and subscribe to Discord Nitro.
While Discord itself provides you a fantastic experience, Nitro improves it by many folds. It lets you access more features like larger file uploads, animated emojis, better-quality streaming options, and a lot more, only for $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year!
What Makes Discord Standout?
There's a reason why Discord has managed to garner over 300 million registered users as of June 2020. Even though you can find many communication tools, the variety of chat options makes Discord stand out amongst others.
1. Easy-To-Use Interface
Don't we all look for an easy-to-use interface in the apps or websites we use?
Discord has a good UI along with all the best features from communication apps like Slack and Skype. It also puts in a lot of effort in making the voice chat more efficient so that it is of real help while playing games.
2. Provides A Social Forum
One of the best things about Discord is that it is more than just a communications software. Users actually take advantage of its chat options to meet and talk to other like-minded people making it a great social media platform.
This means that Discord isn't only good for gamers. You can use the private server to interact with friends or the public ones to make new ones.
3. Setting Up Member Roles
Another one of Discord's advantage is that you can use various ways to configure its server when you create one. You can establish different roles for the community members, like making one for other moderators and administrators or special functions for the most active users.
This makes your server easier to manage, while the experience is quite rewarding for active users.
As you will read below, one of the best facets of Discord is that you can use it even if you do not have a gaming PC in front of you. The web-based and mobile versions are relatively easy to use. At the same time, the downloadable PC program runs in the background while you play your games.
You can use its chat servers to interact with people from pretty much anywhere due to the multitude of platforms available.
Where Can You Use Discord?
Whether you have Windows or Mac, you can download and use the app effortlessly.
You can also use it in-browser at its official website, though there are some limitations. For example, you won't be able to detect audio devices or a webcam and screen-sharing feature to stream desktops or windows to other people.
If you want to use it on the go, try the iOS and Android apps that offer relatively similar features as the desktop one. They have recently added the screen sharing feature to the mobile version as well making it accessible for everyone.
How to Get Started On Discord?
Follow the guide below if you want to join Discord:
1. Creating A Discord Account
Once you have downloaded Discord on your device, click on the register link option, and create an account. Fill out the fields with relevant information, including the email you will use. Then create a username and password, and hit the "Continue" button to proceed.
Congratulations! You've entered the world of Discord. Do check your email to verify your account so you can enjoy the full functionality of this app. In case you haven't received it, click the resend button.
2. Joining A Server
Creating your account is just the beginning. Let's get to the most exciting bit, which is joining a server!
First and foremost, find the perfect server to join as there are many resources available. You can find different server communities through the search option. You can optimize your search by typing in a keyword to find one focused on a topic of your interest.
You will see servers pop up once you type in your keyword. Just click on the display card of the one that's in line with your interests. It's also possible to view the server before you join, and if you like it, you can select the "Join Server" option.
A little icon near the magnifying glass and the plus signs on the screen will be added representing the server you have joined; click on it to rejoin the server whenever you want.
3. Adding Friends
Adding friends is another exciting part of Discord, which is luckily very straightforward. Follow the easy guide to do so.
In the "Friends" tab, you can see options on the dashboard. Click on the green "Add friend" button to add someone. A screen will appear that will ask you to enter a friend's username and #number. Press the "Send Friend Request" option after this, and you would have added your first friend!
You can find your username along with the number at the bottom of your dashboard, which you can let a friend know who wants to add you.
As you would've already gathered from above, Discord is a very cool and useful app. It is not just meant for communication but to also build a social platform where you can meet other people and form communities around the same interests.
Frequently Asked Questions About Discord
1. Why Is Discord So Popular?
Discord offers good basic functionality for free, while the full version is pretty affordable as well. The chat is ad-free, which gives youngsters the ability to be part of their favorite gaming communities.
2. Is It Safe To Use Discord?
Use appropriate monitoring and privacy settings to ensure that your Discord is safe. However, to be more careful, only accept friend requests from the people you know.
3. Is It Free To Use Discord?
If you don't want premium features, you can download and use Discord for free on your devices.
Richard Bennett is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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