Discord Gathers $100 Million War Chest, To Expand Beyond Gaming

Discord announced on Tuesday this week that it was embarking on a course that will see it expand from its current focus on meeting the needs of the gaming community to fulfilling the non-gaming needs of most of the global community. According to the company, the change was one that had long been demanded by users of its versatile platform.

Image Credit: Towards Data Science

A blog post released by the duo of Discord CTO Stanislav Vishnevskiy and CEO Jason Citron had this to say on the topic: “Games are what brought many of you on the platform, and we’ll always be grateful for that.” “As time passed, a lot of you realized and vocalized, that you simply wanted a place designed to hang out and talk in the comfort of your own communities and friends. You wanted a place to have genuine conversations and spend quality time with people, whether catching up, learning something, or sharing ideas.”

All Talk

Discord has in line with its new orientation given its website a makeover and added a new tagline:

Your Place To Talk

The remade site states that Discord is now a place appropriate to the likes of art communities, school clubs, gaming groups, and friends who want to talk about this and that.

Discord is now much focused on making its platform much more attractive to non-gamers. It has, therefore, worked to improve the overall user experience, enhance its video and voice chat capabilities, and boost its overall reliability and performance in all viable areas.

The company has also made its on-site references, jokes, and text more encompassing and less focused on gaming. It has additionally created what it calls a Discord Safety Center where summaries of its rules, safety tips, data practices, and explanations can be found.

A Bored Population And The Growing Utility Of Discord

Platforms like Discord have enjoyed growing utility during the current pandemic, with people logging in from all over the world in search of something to distract them from what seems like a world run amok. Discord’s voice and video chat services have seen widespread use since the pandemic, with the Slack rival now announcing that it has over 100 million monthly active users, with these spending around 4 billion minutes conversing each day.

Discord in order better cope with its growing userbase and their equally growing expectations secured a funding of $100 million. The company promised that the new influx of funds serves to “help accelerate our investment in the community, new features, and the company.”

Discord has also as a way to make its platform more appealing to a broader fanbase and do some good too recently announced initiatives aimed at combating hate speech on its site. The announcement was made on Juneteenth, with the company vowing to develop software that will manage abuse, analyze how users spread hate and racism and apply remedies, offer aid to organizations that aim it achieving racial equality and justice and diversify its staff base. 

It will additionally offer a set of customized services to activists, community organizers, and others that need them.

Chat On

Lately, Discord has been focused on polishing the voice chat features of its site so that it can be better than those of its peers. In April 2020 it announced a 50% growth in US users since the start of the year, which is a remarkable achievement by any measure.

To mark itself out from others in the marketplace it has gone into a partnership with Krisp.ai, with the duo rolling out a beta release that eliminates background noise during voice chats. This translates to clearer and more enjoyable voice calls and is essentially identical to what Microsoft is doing for its Teams.

Back in March, with the pandemic sweeping across the US, Discord increased the number of users who could see the same live stream from the default 10 to 50. It also promised via a tweet that it would maintain the availability of this feature “while it’s most critically needed.” 

It sure does look like it has been keeping to its end of the deal.

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