In 2015, we built Discord to give people a better way to hang out online before, during, and after playing video games. We were frustrated with the options that were out there — they were limiting and didn’t work well for creating the shared experiences we wanted. So it was really important for us to build a platform that was not only incredibly reliable, but flexible for all the ways people wanted to use Discord back then and in the future. 

Seven years later, we are humbled to see that Discord has become so much more than we could have imagined. And it means something different to everyone: a place to hang out with your people, a space to share experiences with your community, and more recently, an opportunity for creators and developers to build sustainable businesses.

We know from all of you that having the ability to customize and enhance Discord has never been more important. Millions of people are using Nitro subscriptions to supercharge their Discord. Meanwhile, a vibrant ecosystem of apps has emerged. Over 30% of active servers rely on apps for customizations, playing fun games, and keeping conversations safe. And we’ve seen billions of app commands used on Discord so far this year, which have doubled compared to this time last year.

As we look to the future and how we can continue to make Discord more helpful and useful, we’re cooking up all kinds of things to make it easier for developers, admins, communities, and all users to enhance and customize our platform. That’s what our news today is all about: from new Nitro offerings to opening up our platform to invite developers to help us dream up the future of Discord.

This week, we unlock a new world of possibilities with: 

  • A way for admins to browse a database of apps natively through an all new App Directory and add them to their servers.
  • Activities, a new feature that brings fun group experiences like playing games and watching videos into Voice Channels. 
  • Resources for developers including Premium App Subscriptions to enable them to earn money and our first-ever Ecosystem Fund for developers, start-ups, and partners to bring their creativity to Discord.
  • A new entry-level tier of our subscription plan, Nitro Basic, priced at $2.99 USD per month.

And sneak peek! Next month, we’re making Connections even better and more useful by rolling out a brand new experience with Verified Roles for Connections like PayPal, and welcoming third parties to help us build for the future.

Now that you have a quick preview, let’s get right to these awesome updates!

Customize Community Spaces With the New App Directory

Apps are a fundamental part of our platform. What are apps? They are games and game-masters, facilitators and schedulers, bouncers and guardians, friends and someone to talk to. They can even turn your server into a place that rewards the activity you love seeing the most from your community, like leveling-up users for talking to new friends. When you add an app to your server, you can type a slash "/" to interact with it and tell it how to help you. They're usually in the member list too, and you can see information about them in their profile. Over 500,000 apps are used on Discord to help with things like server customization, playing games, and keeping communities safe. But they haven’t always been easy to find. 

That’s why starting tomorrow, we’re rolling out the ability to tap into a thriving ecosystem of inventive apps through our App Directory. You might remember that we teased this work last year. So we’re excited to tell you that admins will finally have the ability to browse a database of apps and add whichever ones they choose to any server they manage on Discord — without relying on third-party websites or search engines.

Through App Directory, you’ll be able to easily customize your community with third-party apps and discover your new favorites through curated app collections.

Not sure where to start? Check out the new StockX DropBot for every drop in current culture.  From sneakers and apparel to collectibles and electronics, you’ll be able to keep up with the latest releases, tap in with other collectors, score some heat with giveaways, and even test your industry knowledge with trivia challenges! Need suggestions on what to watch for movie night? Head over to the Hey, Netflix app to discover new shows and movies to watch and discuss together, across borders and without spoilers!

Support Your Favorite Apps through Premium App Subscriptions

The world of apps is a big part of Discord, and we want our platform to be a place where developers can explore their creativity, and that includes app developers who want to earn money.

So we’re experimenting with Premium App Subscriptions and enabling a small group of developers to sell premium features of their apps natively on Discord. Running in tandem with the App Directory launch, users can begin subscribing to premium features of apps that have integrated this feature. While this is a closed experiment for now, interested developers can sign up here to learn more as we roll this out further. 

Hang Out Together Through Activities 

Shared experiences are at the heart of Discord. Last year, we conducted user research to better understand how users enjoy spending their time on Discord. While 85% of the users surveyed said they played games with friends over Discord on a regular basis, their primary purpose for playing was actually to bond with friends. So we put this insight to the test and built a few simple, easy-to-join Activities that enabled people to connect, laugh, and bond together on Discord. 

Today, we’re hyped to begin the rollout of Activities — a way for users to hang out online in more interactive ways, such as playing games or watching videos together (read: cute capybara videos) directly within Discord.

Look for the new Rocket Ship 🚀 button in your Voice Channel to access tons of new ways to spend time with your friends and communities. Starting this week, everyone will have access to begin two activities: Putt Party and Watch Together. Discord Nitro subscribers can launch even more activities including Poker Night, Sketch Heads, Chess, Land-io, Letter League and more. Once launched, they can invite their friends who don’t have Discord Nitro to join their expanded selection of Activities. It’s like being the cool friend who always brings over the best board games!

A preview of a Discord Activity being played on a laptop.

We’ve heard from developers that they want to bring their creativity to even more areas of Discord, beyond chat. With Activities, we are opening up the entire screen as a canvas. We're also inviting studios and developers to create future Activities and help us make Discord even more fun. Get in touch here

For the full rundown of the Activities available at launch and an in-depth look at how they work, check out today’s blog post.

Unlock New Ways to Use Connections 

Discord is a unique platform where authentic interactions flourish. While we want Discord to be everyone’s home away from home, fostering a trusted, safe environment is of paramount importance and central to the notion of community. 

You may have seen that we introduced AutoMod in June and since launch it’s already automatically removed 20 million unwanted messages from servers before they even had a chance to be posted.

While we’re excited to see this kind of progress, we know that work in this space is ever-growing. That’s why we’re now evolving Connections and will be rolling out a brand new experience with Verified Roles starting next month. This feature serves as a crucial tool for our communities to build trust in their interactions taking place in their servers. 

There’s a good chance you already use Connections to show your friends what console game you’re playing or what music you’re listening to. Through this new experience, you’ll be able to connect several new external identities to show who you are, share more about yourself on your profile, and access new experiences based on your credentials. Admins will be able to grant a new type of role (Verified Roles!) in their servers, based on what Connections users have. And we’re inviting developers to reach out to learn more about creating the next set of Connections available with us!

Funding Developers and Start-ups

On top of all the cool new products announced today for developers, we’re starting with $5 million dollars of committed funding for prospective developers, early-stage start-ups, and strategic partners to bring their creativity to Discord.

Tap Into Some of the Most-Loved Nitro Features with Nitro Basic

And finally, we’re coming at you with more exciting news and possibilities to elevate your experience … introducing the latest addition to our Nitro Family: Nitro Basic

Nitro is our subscription offering that gives you more ways to supercharge your experience on Discord. Nitro Basic is the newest addition to the Nitro lineup, serving as a new entry tier that unlocks more fun — only $2.99 per month, including:

  • Animated and custom emojis anywhere: Freely use custom-made emojis from any server you belong to, and use them anywhere you can use emojis.
  • Bigger file uploads: Upload photos, videos and any other files up to 50MB.
  • Special Nitro profile badge: Get a snazzy profile badge to show your support.

For our friends across the pond in the United Kingdom, you might have seen Nitro Basic as a new option earlier this summer. Starting on October 20, we’ll be rolling out Nitro Basic globally.

If you’re like us and can never get enough reading in, there’s a blog post dedicated to more information on Nitro Basic here.

Okay, that was a LOT to take in, so we’re going to take a minute to let you catch your breath!

… alright, ready to finish things off? Let’s close it out! 

We want to thank you for accompanying us on our journey over the last seven years. It’s been a wild ride — all made possible by everyone that uses and builds on our platform every day, and we hope there’s something for everyone to get excited about in this big ol’ update. As we continue to iterate, things will only get better. We’re excited to see what we’re able to build — together. 

If you have any feedback or ideas that could help take Discord to the next level, we want to hear them! Let us know through our feedback site, or hit us up on Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok.