The kids are on Discord

A typical view of the Discord app.

A lot of people use Discord

If you are feeling out of the loop, you just might be. Discord has grown from its launch in 2015 to 300 million registered users today, with about half them considered “active”:

  • 2017: 10 million
  • 2018: 45 million
  • 2019: 56 million
  • 2020: 100 million
  • 2021: 140 million

What is it for again?

The best way to describe Discord is a vast forest of virtual treehouses (currently 6.7 million). Anyone can create one, and if you do, you can set all kinds of rules: who can post, who can comment, what nicknames are… there are literally hundreds of settings. Within each treehouse (“Server”) you can also create rooms (“Channels”) that can allow some people in or out and have their own rules.

The homepage of Discord offering a place to “spend time together”

But wait, there’s more

Describing Discord as a digital treehouse or a communication app is all accurate, but somewhat fails to capture its scope. From the beginning, Discord has been designed to be extensible. This means programmers everywhere can build applications (“Bots”) that extend Discord’s functionality in all sorts of interesting ways:

  • Streaming YouTube videos or Twitch stream to watch with friends
  • Looking up memes
  • Gamifying interaction (posts get points)
  • Moderating behavior

Discord’s Valuation

While it may seem frivolous, several large players are interested in tapping into what Discord offers. Back in April of this year, Discord was said to reject an offer from Microsoft to acquire it for $12 billion, and there is some talk of Twitter making a purchase offer for $15 to $18 billion.

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Joaquin Lippincott

Joaquin Lippincott

CEO/President of @metaltoad. Passionate about creating job opportunities in the tech industry.