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Discord avoids threats from its competitors by deepening its audio communication service for gamers and other communities. Today, the company is unveiling Stage Discovery, a new way for friends to hang out and experience audio events.

The new feature comes on top of Stage Channels, which is a way for Discord to fend off rivals Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces. Stage channels are an easy way for people to organize audio panels, comedy nights, and other events. It will become easier to explore these audio events without having to go in and out of Discord servers to find the ones you want to view. Stage Discovery will be available in June.

San Francisco-based Discord is in a hot competitive market. In a story we first reported, the 6-year-old company recently started and then ended talks with Microsoft to be acquired for over $ 10 billion and then announced that Sony had invested in Discord. The service is valuable as a strategic communications backbone for many game companies to speak with their fan communities, and it has also grown far beyond its gaming roots, CEO Jason said. Lemon at a press event this week.

“It’s a really dramatic change,” Citron said. “It has been inspiring to see all the new and creative ways people use our service. The folks who come to Discord have made it a place to make art, share tips on caring for plants, play karaoke, speculate on cryptocurrencies, and most importantly, they’ve made Discord a place to be. themselves while exploring communities with friends. and make new ones. They have found belonging. This word of belonging is powerful. It probably resonates with each of us a little differently after last year. Everything we do at Discord is rooted in our mission to create a space to help people find their place.

Great growth

Above: Jason Citron is CEO of Discord.

Image Credit: Discord

Citron said Discord grew to 150 million monthly active users and doubled its number from 2019 to 2020, when the pandemic made its mission to create places of belonging more important than ever. Discord does not sell advertising or user data and relies on its Nitro subscriptions for higher quality services to generate revenue. This strategy could have made Discord vulnerable to acquisition. But Citron said Nitro subscription revenue tripled and he had a « strong and healthy business. »

“When we look to the future, we see a world where people are spending more and more time online,” Citron said. “This trend has accelerated dramatically over the past year. And we want this time to fill us as humans, bring us closer together, not make us feel isolated or separated. I’m excited to see how this group has been able to help people spend more quality time together thanks to the unique ways our servers and jobs operate. Discord is about conversations and community content. « 

Last month, perhaps responding to the success of Clubhouse, Discord launched Stage Channels for more professional or complicated events than just friends talking to each other. The press event was held in such a chain, and it’s easier to have audio speakers on a stage with an audience listening and raising their hands to ask questions. Stage Discovery allows friends to experience audio events in a large group, just like a physical event. Stage Discovery will boast a few “exciting designers” to launch it, with a creator’s name rhyming with… rhymes. (Maybe it’s Grimes).

“Voice channels were part of the original feature set when we launched in 2015. But we had heard people say that by hosting increasingly large audio events in Discord, those events might become difficult to track. manage, ”said Citron. “So we wanted to give them the ability to very easily share conversations with a few individuals to a large audience. The scenes have been very popular since their launch. And we’re proud to have successfully delivered this feature that people really want. But we don’t stop there.

Serving the community

Above: Discord UI

Image Credit: Discord

The community asked for ways to organize a paid event, such as a special meeting, a financial literacy class, or even tutoring. So, with Stage Discovery, Discord will begin testing paid tickets for additional special audio events, where the community can make money through Discord. It’s in private beta at the moment.

Discords is also launching ‘discussion threads’, a new feature coming this summer, which will make text chat easier to follow and more streamlined so you can get deep into a ‘rabbit hole’.

Citron said the company continues to invest in trust and security while adding tools to help support communities of all shapes and sizes. Last week he introduced a new exam as part of his Moderator Academy. Discord is also launching a brand campaign, dubbed Imagine a Place, on TV and movie screens in the future. Discord already has 68% awareness among 18-24 year olds.

Citron launched Discord in May 2015 with Eros Resmini (who has since left) and Stanislav Vishnevskiy, its CTO. It now has 350 employees, and 15% of them are dedicated to trust and security. About 18 months ago, around 30% of server owners said their community was not all about games. Today, 78% of active users say they use Discord for purposes other than gaming. In total, it has 19 million active servers and 40% of daily active users use voice. They spend an average of 146 minutes per day listening or speaking.

Discord noted that it organizes scout reunions, book clubs, comedy clubs, distance learning, music and language learning communities. Looking ahead, Citron said, « We are optimistic about continued growth as we explore ways to bring more value to our Nitro subscribers who want the best. »

Scene channel details

Above: Discord has 19 million servers.

Image Credit: Discord

Stages can hold around 1,000 spectators in a single room, but that number will rise to 10,000 by early June. Vishnevskiy said one of his favorite events was an orchestral concert by a group of musicians in Plano, Texas. You will be able to find such events through the Stage Discovery service, and you will be able to share the event with friends. There is no limit to the number of people who can be on stage, said Rick Ling, senior product manager at Discord, in an interview with GamesBeat.

He declined to say if Discord was reacting to the Clubhouse. But he said the goal of the business was to help people know what they belonged to and to have conversations with people, mostly with voice conversations. Stage Channels is an extension of that, he said. So far, the company is not considering video scenes. Stage Discovery will be available to 100% of users by June, on all platforms.

“The bottom line here is that it’s just easier to organize these events now, because the stages have specialized controls where only a few people can speak at the same time,” Ling said. “Other people have to raise their hands to speak. But you know who is actually speaking as a speaker. « 

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