If you’ve joined a small chat group in the last year or two, you’ve probably used one of two platforms: Slack (which we use for work at Review Geek!) or Discord. The latter has always catered to gamers thanks to a built-in VOIP client, but now it’s branching out. Discord is rebranding to be a chat platform for everyone.
In a blog post, Discord founders Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy outlined the company’s new direction: Discord is becoming a platform for any kind of community. “Your Place to Talk” is the new tagline, indicating that it’s going to be welcoming to to any group that needs easy communication on a multi-platform client.
In a lot of ways, Discord already is that tool. I’m personally in four Discord groups: two tech podcasts, one mechanical keyboard group, and Dropout’s fan community. All four of those only tangentially connect with gaming. It seems like Discord is becoming the way to get a group of people connected, specifically when you want that group to be easy to join in a semi-anonymous fashion with as little setup as possible.
In aid of this more general focus, Discord says it’s “streamlined the new user onboarding experience” and branching out into video tools, and removed a lot of gaming-specific language in the app’s documentation. The company is also doubling down on its policy disallowing hate speech across the platform.
Overall it makes sense to lean into what Discord’s own users have been doing for years: applying the platform’s basic tools to communities in general and not gaming in particular.