Discord announced a slew of updates to its online calling software and services today, including new ways to interact with third-party apps on the platform and the cheaper Nitro subscription tier.
VoIP and text chat add a new “app directory” where server administrators can browse and integrate apps into their servers, all within the Discord app. Third-party apps were already supported, but you had to search for them on the web and install them. This new approach is akin to an app store on the platform.
Longtime Discord users may usually refer to apps as bots; These are special features that you can activate with the “/” command, such as polls, moderation, meme creation, and more. Basically, Discord made it easy to find and install these bots. The app guide was announced today and will be launched on October 18th.
But the most extraordinary development on this front might be a major expansion of Activities, which are multi-user experiences that you can enjoy alongside friends on a voice call. Friends on a call together can play poker or chess, watch YouTube Teleparty / Netflix Party-style videos, and more. This development shows Discord has moved beyond its original remit as a voice and chat platform for gamers into what it has become: a virtual community hub for people with different interests and social sticks, not just games.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Discord has been used as a place for friends and family to stay connected and share their lives with each other. It is also used as a gathering place for amateurs in other areas, such as the athletic shoe collecting community as one example. And in some industries, it is used as a place for professional communication. In all of these cases, it’s an alternative to those groups compared to Facebook, Twitter, or other nutrition-based social media services.
The last major update Discord announced today is its premium subscription service, Nitro. So far, the cheapest Nitro option was $4.99 per month. Another company at $9.99 offered a variety of perks such as larger upload size limits, ability to use emojis from one channel in any other, dedicated server profiles, HD video streaming, and many other things. This price tag was a bit steep for many users – especially since most people will never touch most of the perks it offers.
To address this issue, Discord has introduced Nitro Basic, which is arguably Nitro’s two most attractive features—larger uploads and serverless emoji—for just $2.99. While the Nitro Classic subscription exceeds the upload limits from 10MB to 100MB, Nitro Basic uploads the maximum upload at 50MB. Nitro Basic also includes server neutral stickers, a Nitro profile badge, and custom video backgrounds.
All of these updates tell the same story about the platform: It tries to transcend perceptions that it is, first and foremost, a VoIP gaming platform. Most people who use Discord regularly already knew it was headed in this direction, and the team that developed the app has increasingly shifted its focus to this more inclusive concept.
Modernization: This article originally failed to mention the $4.99 Nitro Classic subscription. We’ve updated it to correctly note that the $9.99 option wasn’t the only option before today.
Picture list by Discord
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