Editor’s Note: Private Threads are now available for all servers! This exciting update is rolling out to both desktop and mobile users now.
When you’re hopping onto a server, it’s not always easy to catch up on the latest conversation within a channel. However, it’s easy for a casual chat to sprout into intense debates, wild tangents, and epic-length round tables on totally off-topic subjects — after all, while some servers will tell you to keep memes out of #general, sometimes general sneaks into #memes. On occasion, joining a channel can feel like walking into the middle of three different movies.
Discord has always been your place to talk and hang out. That being said, we wanted to help communities stay engaged while avoiding having to shut down conversation to maintain organization. We did this by first introducing Replies last Fall, which allow anyone to specify whose message they want to respond to in a busy channel. This way, someone doesn’t have to blurt out another person’s name two days later and hope that person remembers what they were talking about.
From positive feedback, this seemed to be a step in the right direction, but a problem emerges as soon as people begin replying to each other in a chain. Keeping up with the back-and-forth @s can get overwhelming, both for the people having the conversation and for those trying to follow up later. That’s why today, we’re excited to introduce a new home for all those winding discussions happening in your communities: Threads!
So Tell Me… What’s a Thread?
A Thread is a quick way to branch a conversation off of a channel’s main feed without removing it from the channel itself. When a Thread is posted, every response after the first post appears in a separate feed which allows everyone in the Thread to discuss a topic in more detail without interrupting the main conversation. After 24 hours, the Thread is archived, clearing away the clutter for everyone visiting the channel.
All this happens while the channel’s normal flow of conversation continues. It’s a great way to follow along with an unexpectedly popular topic without dominating the flow of conversation, whether you’re on a server with just your closest friends or hundreds of people trying to talk at once.
For example, if someone in a #football channel starts talking about rugby, community members with thoughts on rugby can quickly take that conversation to a Thread within the same channel — getting their rugby thoughts off their chest without talking over everyone else. Once the rugby chat’s died down, the Thread auto-archives. This all happens without interrupting the football talk, either with rugby talk or with spirited arguments about which channel the rugby talk belongs in.
How Do I Start a Thread?
Any message posted in a Discord server can be the start of a wild, informative, or thoughtful conversation. Now, any message can also be the start of a brand-new Thread!
To start a Thread from an existing message, simply hover over it and choose the new “#” button. You can also create a Thread from scratch by pressing the ‘+’ button in your chat bar and selecting the “Create Thread” option.
When you open a Thread from within the channel’s chat log, it will pop up into a split-view panel on the right rather than pulling you away from the current channel. However, active Threads will also appear in the Channel List, and clicking one there will bring you to a full-screen version. It’s the difference between focusing on a Thread as a sidebar to an ongoing conversation and coming into it with your full attention.
Private Threads Buff Threads Even Further
You also have the option to create Private Threads. Private Threads don’t appear within a server’s channel listing or Threads Directory — they’ll only appear for someone if they’re added manually, or are @mentioned within the Thread itself.
Private Threads are a great way to keep side chats tidy in larger community servers. Need to quickly organize an AMA with a few of your moderators? Trying to have a chat with a rowdy member without adding them as a friend? Only add those who are contributing to the Private Thread!
This means that you’ll no longer need to add every member as a Friend to start a conversation within a Group DM. If you want to have a group huddle, just @mention everyone participating and they’ll be added to the Private Thread with no additional fuss.
Threads auto-archive after 24 hours. But of course, an archived Thread doesn’t have its chat deleted — it just means the Thread will be placed in the Archived tab. You can always open it up again, read through it, and start the same Thread again by writing in a new message.
Moderating Threads on Discord
Since Threads are a new surface to consider when moderating servers, we wanted to give our communities the opportunity to choose where and how they can be used. Not every community will want every member to be able to create a Thread, and that’s okay.
Having control over who can use Threads can be important as a server grows in size and scope. To help, we’ve added three new permissions to help you fine-tune which members can create threads, and which channels Threads can be made in.
These new Permissions include the following:
- Use Public Threads: Allows members to talk in threads. The “Send Messages” permission must be enabled for members to start new threads; if it’s disabled, they can only respond to existing threads.
- Use Private Threads: Allows members to create and chat in private threads. The “Send Messages” permission must be enabled for members to start new private threads; if it’s disabled, they can only respond to private threads they’re added to.
- Manage Threads: Allows members to rename, delete, archive/unarchive, and turn on slowmode for threads. They can also view private threads.
Once updated, Bots will also be able to moderate the content within a Thread just like they do Channels. Some of the most popular bots, such as ProBot and Arcane, are already prepared to moderate within Threads, along with the discord.js and discord.py libraries. You can get your own bot ready to roll by checking out our Developer Documentation here.
For the full lowdown on moderating Threads effectively, check out the new Thread Moderation help center article.
Starting Today, Threads Tie Conversation & Community Closer Together
For non-community servers, you will have it enabled beginning today. For Community servers, we recognize that you may want more time to prepare, so if your server has the “Community” feature set enabled, you will have the choice to opt-in to Threads.
On August 17th, 2021, Threads will be enabled for all Community servers as well. You can always adjust your Thread-related permissions after this takes effect using your server’s Role or Channel Permissions afterward.
With Threads on Discord, it’s easier than ever to talk about the topics you want without distracting others or interrupting an ongoing discussion. Whether you’re having a deep debate about whether or not mint ice cream is the best flavor (it is) or something even more heartfelt and personal, every conversation now has a fitting place.
Editor’s Note: We’ve adjusted the first two paragraphs in the outro to help explain the rollout process a bit clearer, and added a screenshot of the Community server opt-in screen.