When you say Discord, you think of gaming. That was the norm only a few weeks ago, but with the world in quarantine amidst the pandemic, many communication apps are being re-tooled for other things as well. The servers features have placed it at the forefront of the gaming community, and recently non-gaming communities have recognized its invaluable features as well.
It’s not really surprising since Discord brings a lot of useful features that you really can’t find on other servers. Although it’s a challenge to get started because of multiple reasons. One of which, is that there are already dozens of other messaging apps that the mainstream public generally prefers using.
Maybe it’s the gaming reputation that draws most people away from it, even though the Discord platform is surprisingly similar to the industry standard Slack. Many organizations that operate with remote offices, employ freelancers, or work-from-home staff has relied on Slack for years. I’m not entirely sure of the facts, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Slack and Discord share the same platform on their servers.
Essential Non-Gaming Features
The main feature of Discord is voice communication. After all, it was initially a competition for Mumble and Teamspeak. The advantage is that it provided a more social experience that provided better moderation. On the other hand, the other two options were really just for in-game voice communication.
Now if you think about it, voice comms isn’t really a “gaming thing”. In terms of Skype, Hangouts, and if you are old enough to remember Yahoo Messenger – Voice Over IP (VOIP) is more on the side of productivity rather than gaming. It was all a matter of marketing really whether Mumble, Teamspeak, Discord, or even the short-lived Razer Comms – may it rest in peace.
In that sense, it’s clear that the boys and girls in Discord want to branch out of the gaming world and take over the sectors that have been dominated by messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Whatsapp, and whatnot. Honestly speaking, it’s not really a bad idea although there are mountains to climb for the little Wumpus.
Not only are they entering an over-saturated market, but it’s also going to take a lot of convincing for people to move from what they’re used to and go into something new. Not to mention the complicated process to set up servers that might overwhelm those who are lacking in technical expertise. That is not to say it’s overly complex, it’s just not something that is ready out of the box like a messaging app.
Discord, I Choose You!
From my personal experience, I’ve fallen in love with Discord and have been trying to convince my friends and family to convert. Cleary this has proved to be something quite difficult to achieve. I suppose it’s also a cultural thing, considering where I’m from people can have up to three or even more different messaging apps on their phones. Each with different group chats and used in many different ways.
From an organizational standpoint though, I think there is something to be said in the case for Discord. Although it’ll require a dedicated administrator and maybe even a few global moderators, I can see the Wumpus bringing some much-needed communication efficiency into an NGO or non-profit. Not just because it’s free, but also it’s one of – if not the – best free option out there.
We’ve all been there – having a message overlooked in a chat group because of the sheer number of members chatting. Things can easily get chaotic in a messaging app, and I hate it when people think making more group chats will solve the issue. And this is exactly where Discord shines bright like a purple diamond, once set up properly it can make sense of all the mess. Of course, that’s where the moderators come in keeping the stubborn ones in line – come on, you know there’s at least one in your organization.
In a nutshell, I like where this is going. I just hope it doesn’t become a mess like that Nitro gaming service attempt. That was pretty sad really.