Discord: Why it became so popular suddenly?

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In the year 2020, it’s all about maintaining distance while being connected with the ones close to you and with these restrictions, technology comes to the rescue. Over a market full of the apps which allow us to get in touch with our friends, family and loved ones, the one which is most talked about is Discord, make quite some time ago, this application has garnered a lot of attention during the corona crisis when people are quarantined at home and looking for a way to connect to the outside world. Let’s see how an app that was created for gamers became a global sensation in 2020.

What is Discord?

Discord is an online group-chatting app, it makes no wonder as there are many applications like Zoom, Google Meet, Skype etc which facilitate online group-chatting, the main thing that makes discord stand out is it’s funky features and ease to use.Being developed in 2015 especially for gamers, Discord gained popularity slowly and widened it’s customers from gamers to artists and even K-Pop fans, until 2020 came and it spread like a wildfire throughout the globe and everyone started using and talking about it. Discord, one of the most popular chatting apps around today, which is available for Mac, PC, iPhone, and Android devices.

How Discord works?

On a basic level, the building blocks of Discord are it’s ‘servers’. Users can join various servers and create servers on their own completely free of cost. The working of these servers is the same as the ‘Slack’ platform but unlike the Slack ‘community’ the Discord ‘Servers’ are less formal and more fun. Every Server can have multiple text and voice channels, the text channels are used to chat with an unlimited amount of people and the voice channels are used to voice or video chat in a group, these channels can be made public or can be used after requesting access by the administrator of the server. For example, you might have one channel to talk about a game, and another for general chatting, and another for pictures of cats. The possibilities are endless. According to internal polls, teenagers use Discord for everything from studying for classes to watching Netflix together.  Much like other chatting apps, Discord allows you to directly message other users. When you do this, you can voice- or video-chat with them. Discord also be connected to other apps, like YouTube and Spotify, to enhance your experience. And there are both desktop and mobile versions of the platform, so you can use it no matter which device you’re using — even while you’re gaming. Discord is also highly customizable. 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.

The term ’moderator’ was first used in Reddit where the owners of various subreddits appointed people to keep an eye on what content is being posted on their sub-reddits and delete objectionable content and block the offenders who committed the felony. Just like that, Discord servers too have moderators which keep a check on the people in a server and what all content they post on the group chats,they can kick out people who post inappropriate content and delete the content posted. Various other grou-chat apps like Zoom, Skype, Google meet etc lack this feature which gives Discord an upper hand. When you create a Discord server, you can configure it in a multitude of ways by setting up different roles for members, such as creating roles for other administrators and moderators or creating a special role for your most active members. Setting up different member roles has a number of benefits for your server including making it easier to manage your server, rewarding members for being active, as well as providing different access permissions.

One thing that makes Discord stand out is the addition of bots. Like their literal definition, bots do a task which they are programmed to do, there are many pre-built bots like Rhythm Bot that allows us to play music directly into our channel from Youtube or SoundCloud. Another famous Discord Bot is the MEE6 bot which will act as a moderator in the server and will take appropriate action on the defaulters. The major attraction is that you can make your own Discord Bots and deploy them by using Discord API which is available for free to the developers, the possibility of the types of bots is unlimited in Discord.

Discord is also full of easter eggs, to all who don’t know, easter eggs are hidden features which are not so important and doesn’t affect the common usage but are so much fun to find out. One such Easter egg is the dial tone that Discord has when someone is calling other, very few people have reported that they have a different dial tone than others which discord later clarified to be an easter egg. Discord is full of them and it is really fun to explore them.

The feature which made discord highly popular is the Streaming feature. Youtubers and professional gamers started to stream live on Discord and this attracted a lot of audience towards Discord as streaming live on Youtube is a lot more difficult as it requires a lot of hardware and processing power so Discord came in as a handy option. This feature allowed many common people to Stream their gameplays on Discord and added to it’s popularity.

Since, Discord is a free application, it’s revenue comes from a feature called Discord Nitro. Discord Nitro is a paid package which when bought unlocks many perks including faster server response, high quality streaming (which is limited to 480p in common server), a custom server Tag and many more benefits. The Discord Nitro is used by professional artists, influencers and streamers to increase their reach and server load. Among the cosmetic perks are animated avatars and animated emojis in chat. You can also customize the DiscordTag number that comes after your name, and you get a special badge to display your support.

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