What Is Discord?

What is Discord?

Are you on Discord? If not, you are missing out. What started as an avenue for players to chat, share content, and communicate, has grown into one of the largest community-based platforms on the internet.

Discord is a freeware chat application, initially designed for gamers, that specializes in enabling text, image, video, and audio communications over VoIP. Discord servers allow people to come together to create private servers and channels, direct message one another, and ultimately create and grow digital communities.

It was developed by Discord Inc, which previously operated under the name Hammer and Chisel, officially released on May 13th, 2015. It has since blown up in popularity, with well over 250,000,000 users as of January 2020, world wide.

Originally released into a crowded market of chat communication tools, such as Skype, Whatsapp, Teamspeak, Ventrillo, Curse Voice, and many others, Discord was able to disrupt the market by offering a premium experience with no required entry cost. 

As a digital communication tool, Discord has grown far beyond its humble beginnings. It has become a defacto tool for building and sustaining communities across the web for virtually any genre imaginable, soaring far beyond just the gaming niche.

Discord’s Platform Support

Not only is Discord free to download and use, but it’s availability and support spans all major desktop operating systems. This support ranges from Microsoft Windows, OSX, to Linux, including both native desktop applications and support for browser-based versions.

You can also find native applications for both iOS and Android mobile operating systems. This wide range of platform availability makes it dead simple to integrate into your digital life. It also shows one of the reasons why it has spread like wildfire across online communities, from global gaming and hobby communities to family and friend gatherings and digital conventions. 

What can be done with Discord is truly impressive.

Discord Wide Array of Features

Discord boasts an impressive number of unique and premium features for its users and servers, even offering optional premium plans, known as Nitro and Nitro Classic, that each adds new features and enhancements to existing features.

Here’s a list of just some of the fantastic features that it boasts, under their out-of-the-box free membership plans:

  • IP Protection
  • DDOS Protection
  • Support for Desktop, Mobile, and Browsers
  • In-Game Overlays
  • High-Quality Audio Codecs
  • High Availability, Low-latency Region-Based Servers
  • Low CPU Overhead
  • Custom Hotkeys and Key Bindings
  • Smart Push Notifications
  • Custom Profiles and Avatars
  • Advanced and Easy to Use Permission System
  • Well Documented and Robust API
  • Ever Growing Number of Developer Integrations
  • Private Voice, Text and Streaming Channels
  • Direct Messaging and Friend Lists
  • Modern Chat Functionality with Robust Emoji Support
  • Premium Video Chat and Screen Sharing Capabilities
  • Free Servers to Build Communities and Audiences

There’s so much more to Discord when it comes to features than we can cover in this post. While still in active development, it is frequently updated, and new features make their way into each supported platform monthly. You can follow their Twitter, to stay in-the-know with new features, events, and other such updates. 

There is also an official status page, which you can stay up to date with service interruptions and choose to receive notifications.

What Will You Find in a Discord Server?

The majority of Discord servers divide themselves into multiple channels, some being open to the public, some for exclusive to members, and others private to administration groups. 

Channels can be locked down by the server administrators in many ways, enabling or disabling certain functionality and setting various permissions as to what individuals can do with the respective channel. 

However, text channels, generally allow you to read, write, upload, stream, react to comments with emojis and interact with server bots. In voice channels, you will be able to listen, talk, and screen share or live stream. 

When joining a Discord server, be sure to look for a general information or rules channel, as servers can vary significantly in how they operate. Each community sets its standards, while also operating within their Terms of Service.

How to get started with Discord

Getting started with Discord is quick and straightforward. Performing the following steps to get started:

  1. Visit the Discord download page
  2. Select the platform to download & install
  3. Register a new account to your email
  4. Click the provided hyperlink in the account verification email

Once you’ve downloaded, installed, registered, verified, and logged into your new account, you’re ready to begin! You can even add a Discord avatar to personalize your profile.

Joining and Starting a Discord Server 

There are millions of Discord servers, each one revolving around its specific topic(s). If you can think of a topic, odds are there’s already a Discord server for it. But just in case you can’t find one with your interest, you can create a discord server for free. If that task sounds too daunting, you can hire a professional to set up a discord server for you.

You can find resources like Top Discord Servers or Disboard, which allow you to search and filter down from their database for topics that interest you. 

Once you’ve found a server that interests you, you merely click on a Discord invitation link to join and off you go. You’re now ready to begin chatting with others on Discord!