As a “jack-of-all-trades” social platform, Discord has seen considerable growth over the past two years. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, Discord generated $130 million in revenue last year, up from $45 million in 2019. Its monthly user base doubled in the same time period, and members are no longer just gamers.

So what does this mean for Discord as a well-known gaming chat platform as it brings in more generalized followers? It means that the platform is providing more options for users of various backgrounds. Users once had to go to multiple apps for social media connections,  but they now can target one app and utilize it as they see fit without app hopping.   

It is becoming increasingly popular with influencers, becoming a convenient way to directly engage with followers and make their influencer connections more authentic. 


A Little Background On Discord

Discord is a real-time chat platform that was founded in 2015. It was created to make it easier for gamers to communicate, usually in real-time as users played their games. Since then, Discord has grown and offers users a platform that can fill many needs based on a user’s preference. The user’s age ranges between 14 and 44.

After signing up for Discord, users join different servers. Each server functions as its own community, and it’s easy to switch between them. Once they’re within a server, they can choose between a list of hashtagged channels on the left side of the screen. Some channels are text-based, and some are group voice chats.

Not only can servers have public and private channels, but administrators can also designate an endless series of roles to each user, all of which can come with custom privileges, colors, and name tags. Most server administrators designate roles to help moderate their communities. In addition to the group chats, Discord allows for global private messaging where one can add friends from any server to have a one-on-one conversation without clicking into each server itself. 

Because Discord is an easily customizable app, users feel more active and in control of the platform rather than being limited to passive scrolling like other social media platforms.

The app now has two subscription-based plans–-nitro and nitro classic. Discord is able to maintain free services through subscriptions and partnerships with other companies to increase exposure and make subscriptions even more desirable. However, Discord’s core features continue to stay free and maintain its no-advertising policy, which other platforms like Facebook and Twitter have not been able to do. It also makes it harder to share personal information users may not want to be shared. Maintaining privacy is a big selling point for this platform.


Discord Provides Variety, All In One Place

Perks that make Discord so popular are the options the platform offers. Providing voice calls, video calls, text messaging, and media and files, the app attempts to cater to whatever the user needs the most–and many industries are using them to develop communities. 

  • Gaming: Although the platform is growing beyond gaming, the gaming community is still thriving. As Discord partners with gaming companies like Esports, Twitch, and Playstation, the community has doubled since 2019.
  • Academics: School communities use it for homework forums and dating. Partnering with AP Students and other educational platforms has become a way many students develop communities around classes they take, test preparation, and homework collaboration. 
  • Business: Business communities find it to be a good alternative to Slack and other chat apps. Though Discord is primarily for consumers, some businesses have set up servers to share news and provide customer support and for their employees to communicate with each other. According to a recent Quartz article, Chipotle held a virtual job fair on the app, and fashion retailer All Saints held a fan Q&A on Discord’s Stage Channel, which is similar to Clubhouse.
  • Influencers: Well over 30% of its users now go to Discord for something other than gaming. Because of these growing numbers, influencers find that Discord is a place to further engage with current followers and also build a new audience. An Atlantic article explained that Discord had become an indispensable tool for internet creators to connect with their fans. Within the last year, it has outgrown its origin story and become the default place where influencers, YouTubers, Instagram meme accounts, and anyone with an audience can connect with their community in a variety of ways.


In Closing

As Discord continues to grow, it shows its strengths in many areas as a true competitor to other social media platforms. Many industries can benefit from Discord’s variety, and influencers are starting to notice the benefits it provides to make more efficient connections in one place.

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