Discord is a VoIP, instant messaging, and digital distribution platform originally created for gamers who need in-game and off-game communication channels with fellow gamers. Although originally built for this reason, Discord has exponentially grown into a platform that extends its features and services to non-gamers as well.
This post will cover the history of Discord, what people will do on a typical Discord server, how server boosts can enhance them, and more.
History of Discord
Discord was created on May 13, 2015, primarily to aid to gamers who want to communicate better while playing. Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy, the brains behind Discord, thought it would help the gaming community if there was a tool that would allow gamers to have real-time conversations while they played.
Discord’s creators also observed that in many cases, a group of friends would come together to play in teams, and using a poorly-working communication tool is not ideal. They figured that players enjoyed talking not only about the games they played but also about discussing other things that are not necessarily about gaming.
Before Discord, there was no tool good enough for speed and reliability for calls during games. While other applications such as Skype and Team Speak were available, they were not well-suited for gaming communication. This was a huge problem in the online gaming world during that time.
Discord Development Over Time
The lack of good communication support available both on desktop with a mobile app paved the way for Discord founders Citron and Vishnevskiy to make a way to provide gamers with a platform where they could enjoy their games with better audio features and where they could nurture friendships amongst themselves.
People would be allowed to create their own Discord server that would allow like-minded people to communicate about their favorite PC games and play together regularly. Over time, additional features were added that enabled better gameplay and community building.
Years later, it would evolve into a social platform with complete features for efficient chats, voice calls, and video calls for gaming and non-gaming purposes. With server boosts, users have access to many additional features (such as animated server icons, higher-quality streams, better audio quality, etc.), giving users access to higher-quality shared gameplay.
Who Uses Discord?
Since Discord was built for gamers, it naturally gained prominence among gamers in its early phase. Over time, Discord slowly became a mainstream place for groups outside the gaming community. Presently, education sectors worldwide utilize their own server created specifically for study groups and other academic agendas.
Aside from servers created for study groups, more and more servers have sprouted for different reasons inviting more people to create Discord accounts and participate in different public discord servers and private ones.
With this, Discord gradually evolved into a go-to platform among many groups. Today, Discord is made up of diverse users like artists, bookworms, KPop fans, music lovers, and many more.
Discord Boom Through the Pandemic
However, it’s worth noting that it was during the Covid-19 pandemic when Discord rose to fame. As the pandemic spread and restrictions were ordered, people had no choice but to follow health protocols and stay in their homes. It was during this time that Discord experienced immense growth.
As people were kept in their homes doing their own thing, playing mobile games, and watching YouTube videos, they were looking for ways to connect with other people albeit virtually. Discord servers provided that for them.
Today, Discord is widely used by online game enthusiasts and anyone who wants to be a part of virtual communities called ‘servers’ to share things they are passionate about and interested in. With around 140 million users worldwide, Discord houses people with different cultures and backgrounds coming together in Discord servers.
Where to Use Discord
One of the best things about Discord is that it is a multi-platform application. Its availability extends to iOS, Mac, Android, Windows, and even Linux, making participating in Discord servers available through the phone and desktop.
To use Discord via phone, the application is available for download on its official download page. The same goes with Discord via desktop, although more features are available on desktop than mobile. By the way, for those who do not prefer downloading the mobile app, Discord is also available on the web.
For someone new to Discord, the interface may seem overwhelming. For one, the usernames seen across the platform are mostly fake names with a four-digit number attached at the end. There are also two types of channels which are basically the means of communication used in a particular server: the voice channel and the text channel. Most importantly, servers are the groups and communities a user wishes to participate in.
As already mentioned above, Discord is home to a wide variety of groups of people who share common interests. A server, whether one of the many public or private servers, is somewhat like forums where people engage in conversations about a particular topic or issue in whatever channel they choose- text, voice (audio), or video calls.
Whether used by phone or by a laptop/computer, Discord makes conversations and other virtual activities more convenient by offering an inclusive chat app feature that integrates audio and video calls just like a normal social media app would, except that there’s a lot more to it such as screen sharing, file sharing, and streaming, among others.
Alternatives to Discord
While Discord is probably the most go-to communication interface today, there are many alternatives you could potentially choose for your particular game or passion.
Some Discord alternatives are listed below:
Guilded is probably the closest VoIP alternative for video game users. Not only can users create a private server on Guilded, but many of the traditional Nitro features of Discord are already built into Guilded’s free plan. You can even easily monetize your Guilded servers. The catch? There is a much smaller userbase on Guilded, and many gamers don’t really feel the need to recreate Discord’s servers on a new platform (even though there are integration features).
One of these alternatives is an app called Pumble. It has workspaces instead of servers, but unlike Discord servers, these workspaces and their channels are not limited. It also has all of Discord’s features and is available on more platforms like SAaS and On-Premise.
Troop Messenger is also another great alternative for Discord. It’s a very useful app for team collaboration. Technically, it works very well as a platform for teams aiming at getting work done in the same way Discord functions efficiently as a social gaming platform. Some notable Troop Messenger features include better audio and video quality, end-to-end encryption, file storage, and live location. It’s basically made to increase productivity.
Next, is a task-management app called Chanty. Like many applications intended for work productivity, it has task management features that allow its users to create a task from messages. Applications from third parties like Zappier and Mailchimp may also be integrated into the app. It’s like a whole workforce inside the app.
Another live and PlayStation network alternative some gamers opt to use is Overtone. Just like Discord, Overtone has voice and text channels with features almost equal to that of Discord Nitro Classic.
Google’s Hangout Chat
Lastly is Google’s Hangouts Chat. It works the same way with Discord’s text and voice channels. As with getting access to Hangouts, one needs a Gmail account to get started. A Discord account, on the other hand, may use any email. Furthermore, Hangouts has less learning curve compared to the more complicated Discord and is suitable for users that are not that tech-savvy.