By Jason and Stan
Six months ago, we started to change the way we talked about Discord to make it more welcoming to the millions of people who were using our service for much more than playing games together online.
Since then we’ve heard about all the ways you’ve been using Discord to explore your current interests or ones you aspire to learn, meet like-minded people who are just as hyped about something as you are, or just to talk to someone when you need an ear. It’s been really amazing to see how Discord has become a digital third place for so many people: a way to spend quality time together just talking or hanging out, no matter where you are.
2020’s been a heavy year for all of us and we’re honored that many of you have turned to Discord to find belonging and comfort during such a challenging time. We’re just glad we’ve been able to be helpful in any way possible.
As we take a moment to reflect and prepare for what’s ahead, we’d like to highlight a few of the things we’ve done to make Discord a better place for everyone from welcoming new and diverse communities, to strengthening our team and making the app more and more useful.
A Place to Talk, for Anyone
As we’ve all shifted our lives to spend more time at home, we’ve learned to adapt. At Discord we found ourselves doing a lot of virtual happy hours, sharing pictures of our day, Animal Crossing island hopping, pizza parties, paint nights, and even cooking classes.
It’s been inspiring to see all the creative ways you’ve been using Discord to stay close despite spending more time apart. We’ve seen tons of new organizations, events, and groups join Discord to create their own spaces: College students recreating the campus club atmosphere; activists organizing around political and social movements; friends playing Among Us all around the world; and even couples hosting virtual wedding ceremonies.
Alongside these newer types of communities, Discord became the virtual home for long-standing events that have typically been physical gatherings including VidCon, DefCon, and Wonder Women Tech. In the sports scene, the Sacramento Kings launched the first-ever official NBA team Discord server, bringing fans who miss the courts closer together and giving them a place to stay connected even after things reopen.
Our own event — the 4th annual Discord Snowsgiving celebration — ended up being our biggest ever, with 200,000 people joining the server. We raised over $200,000 for Doctors Without Borders and included a week-long digital music festival featuring guests like Kaskade, TOKiMONSTA, Nova Miller, and DJ Snoopadelic (aka Snoop Dogg).
More Helpful, Wherever You Are
As Discord grows, it’s important that we continue our work to make it even better. We’ve seen a massive increase in people using the mobile app since the start of the year and the experience on your phone should be just as great as it is on desktop.
With that in mind, we spent nearly all of 2020 improving the speed and stability of our mobile apps. In addition to bringing video chat to servers and built-in noise suppression to desktop, we made sure mobile also gets to enjoy these features instead of waiting.
To close out the year, we just added the ability to share your screen on mobile, so you can hang out and play games or browse your favorite social apps together. To try it out for yourself, hop in a voice channel on your phone and swipe up (or take a peek at our Help Center).
Feedback from our communities informs every feature we build, and we’re always exploring new ways to help you have fun and express yourselves. As always, the core features of Discord — text, voice, and video — will stay free for everyone. For Discord Nitro subscribers, we’re looking into making new ways to make it even cooler, but you’ll have to wait and see!
Small & Mightier
In June, we committed to growing our team in a way that helps shape a future that benefits and supports everyone. A big component of achieving this goal is to diversify our leadership team.
We’re honored to have welcomed both our new Chief Marketing Officer Tesa Aragones to oversee Discord’s expansion beyond gaming and Prachi Gupta as our new VP of Engineering. We’ve broadened our lawyer-like expertise with the arrival of Clint Smith as our Chief Legal Officer, and the three of them are already hard at work to make Discord a more positive and welcoming place for everyone.
A Look Ahead
We’re extremely grateful for the continued support from our Discord Nitro subscribers who are helping us show the world it’s possible to build a business that doesn’t depend on serving ads or selling your personal data. We have big plans for 2021 and we’re excited to announce that we’ve raised an additional $100 million in funding to help make Discord even better.
Reading through the hundreds of Discord stories shared with us over the year has been such a rewarding way to see how our work is helping so many of you create more belonging in your lives. We’re deeply thankful to all of you and if you’ve got an idea you think could make Discord even better, you’re always welcome to hit us up with your suggestions on Twitter at @jasoncitron and @svishnevskiy.
See you in 2021.