What is Discord and how to use it
While Discord may not be your go-to platform, the text, video, and voice-chat app has a lot to offer for individuals and businesses. With 150 million monthly active users, Discord is especially popular for those aged 16 to 34, and contrary to common belief, is not just for gamers.
So why is Discord so popular? Join us as we cover what Discord is, how to use it, and how to get started.
What is Discord?
Discord can easily be compared to apps such as Slack or Reddit in function and feel alone, but what really sets Discord apart from the crowd is its small community-led functionality. Unlike other social channels that center around a main newsfeed or broader community, Discord is about creating public and private servers for a select number of users to access, in which you can message, video chat, or voice chat with other users.
Discord servers are typically centered around specific topics but can also be created for friend groups to keep in touch. While Discord isn’t all about gaming, the platform has earned a reputation for being a popular place for streaming.
Uniquely, Discord is an ad-free platform. However, it’s worth noting that Discord makes money through subscription fees and server boosting. Server boosting is a way to update your Discord server to improve the stream quality, as well as get access to additional perks such as better audio quality, and additional emojis.
Not every element of Discord will be free to use, although you can certainly have a perfectly rounded Discord experience as a free user and do not need to pay for the app.
Who uses Discord?
Discord’s biggest demographic is those aged 25-34, with those aged 16-24 taking up the second largest percentage of users. Male users make up 79% of the platform, while 21% of users are female. Gamers, no doubt, make up a huge part of Discord’s user base and have played a big part in growing the platform since its inception in 2015. However, since 2020 and the subsequent pandemic, Discord has expanded its user base to include general communities and users outside of those interested in gaming. Many users make use of Discord to chat with their friends, connect with those with similar hobbies and interests, or for educational purposes with Discord’s Student Hubs.
What can you do on Discord
Those who create a Discord server can have multiple channels in which users can voice call, video call, and message one another. A single free user can join up to 100 servers, while a paid subscriber can join 200. A single server can also have up to 500,000 members, although the owner of the server may need to be in touch with Discord support for more server space to avoid connection errors. A server is limited to 50 categories and 500 channels. You can invite friends you added from one server to another, but it’s worth noting that you don’t need to share a server to communicate with someone on Discord.
If your server becomes successful, you may need to think about moderation. Many Discord users appoint human moderators or install bot moderators to keep the content clean and friendly. A server can be public or private and will usually center around a common subject, while many teenagers use Discord for studying together or watching shows together. You can connect Spotify to your Discord so friends can see what music you’re listening to or integrate your PlayStation or Xbox accounts for game sharing.
How to get started on Discord
To get started, you’ll need to create a Discord account and then download the Discord app. Next, you’ll want to either join a server or create your own server. To join a server, you’ll need to select the “+” button and then “Add a Server” from the left-hand menu. Select “Join a Server” and add an invite link. Alternatively, you can browse public servers by selecting the “Explore Public Servers” option from the left-hand menu.
To create your own server, you need to:
- Select the “Add a Server button.”
- Choose a template or opt to create your own server from scratch.
- Name your server and add an icon.
- Select “Create.”
To make navigating your server simpler, you can add categories to group your channels. Channels are like individual chat rooms that can be text or voice channels (voice channels also support video).
How much does Discord cost
You don’t have to pay for Discord. You can still join and create servers and interact with others without paying for a subscription. However, to unlock additional features that enhance your experience on the app, you can subscribe to Nitro Basic or Nitro (more features than Nitro Basic) from $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year. These subscription options offer perks like the ability to upload larger files, use custom emojis, access HD video streaming, and create custom profiles.
Is Discord good for businesses
Although advertising isn’t possible on Discord, many businesses will opt to build their own server and invite their community/customers to join discussions about their products or specific product features, allow their community members to connect with one another, run events such as quiz nights, classes, contests and giveaways, or host live podcasts. It’s also common for creators to use access to their Discord server as a reward and incentive for those who subscribe to their content on a crowdfunding platform such as Patreon. In short, yes — Discord can be beneficial to businesses as another avenue for community-building and connecting with your audience.
What is a server template
A server template will provide you with a basic server structure that you can customize. A server template will give you pre-defined channels, channel topics, roles, permissions, and default settings. For those less familiar with Discord or those creating their first server, a server template will give you some immediate structure to work with.
Is Discord just for gamers?
Although Discord was originally created for gamers, the platform has since opened its arms to a much wider variety of use cases. Many use Discord for socializing with friends, interacting with others around specific hobbies and interests, or for educational purposes and group studying.
Discord is what one might refer to as an underdog social media platform. It may not make mainstream headlines on a daily basis, but it’s not to be underestimated. Discord is home to a large and loyal following that is worth tapping into, whether for your own personal interests or your brand’s growth potential. You may even find Discord to be the perfect change of scenery from your usual social media networks.