What is Discord?
Discord, a popular group-chatting app, was originally made to give gamers a place to build communities and talk.
But since its launch in 2015, it has branched out to include communities from all over the internet, ranging from writers to artists to K-Pop stans. It has boomed in popularity during the pandemic, as more people have worked, played games, and socialized online, and the platform says it now has more than 140 million active monthly users.1
Here's a guide to Discord, one of the most popular chatting apps around today, which is available for Mac, PC, iPhone, and Android devices.
At a basic level, Discord is built to allow members to message each other. Each community is called a "server." If you're familiar with Slack, you can think of it as a less formal version of that app.
Servers are filled with text channels (where you can type to talk to other people) and voice channels (where you can voice-chat with others). You can also share videos, images, internet links, music, and more.
Each server usually has multiple channels, each of which is dedicated to a different topic or has different rules.
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.
Starting your own server is free, as is joining other servers.
There are thousands of different Discord servers, each one dedicated to a different topic. If you have an interest in something, there's a good chance you can find a Discord server for it.
This is especially true for video games, which make up the bulk of Discord's most popular servers.2
To find new servers to join, you can Google "[insert topic here] Discord server." You can also use Discord's own search engine, but be aware that it doesn't track all servers, only the most popular ones.
While chatting, you can also use commands like "/giphy" or "/spoiler" to do things like add a GIF to your message or mark your message as a spoiler.
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 can also be connected to other apps, like YouTube and Spotify. 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.
You also have the option to upgrade to Discord Nitro, which includes features like higher video quality, server boosting, a higher upload limit, enhanced quality live streaming, and a custom Discord tag for $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year.3