Five years ago, we started Discord as a better way for you and your friends to talk while playing games together. At the time, we assumed that most servers would be a small handful of mutual friends who already knew each other. This turned out to be mostly true — the majority of servers on Discord today are smaller servers with close friends.

What we didn’t predict was how creative our users could be! Many of you started using Discord for something bigger: building communities where hundreds to thousands of like-minded people can come together to talk, make friends, and deepen their passion.

Today, there are millions of communities thriving on Discord where tens of millions of people talk. We’ve seen so many creative communities from Animal Crossing servers where people post their turnip prices in real-time to educational servers where members learn new languages directly from native speakers over text and voice. Every day we see more communities coming to Discord: servers about Harry Potter, the Cosmere, hip-hop, sneakers, programming, My Hero Academia, Taylor Swift, and more.

Some of the many servers in Server Discovery, with more being added every day.

It’s been a thrill watching you all build. The servers you’ve created have become places that many call their second home: places where they can meet new friends and not feel alone in the world. Places where they can be themselves amongst people they trust. In the beginning, we couldn’t have imagined Discord being used this way, but now, it’s impossible to imagine Discord without the communities you’ve fostered.

This world exists because of you, the admins and moderators of these Discord communities around the globe.

You’ve shown us that Discord can do much more than help stay in touch with friends — it can be used to find new ones, and give people the power to create their own belonging.

We’d like to help

We know building a community on Discord hasn’t been easy. Originally our product wasn’t set up to serve your needs out of the box, so you’ve had to come up with original — but time-consuming — ways to make Discord work for your community and your members.

We want to change that. We want to be your partners and help you build and manage your community. We want to make it easier for you to run successful servers, letting you spend more time connecting with and building your community. As we go forward, we want to work with you every step of the way.

Discord is for communities — your communities

Let’s make this clear: communities are an essential part of Discord, and we’re making it a core responsibility for us to serve communities and create first-class experiences for both admins and members.

Since the start of the year, we’ve dedicated resources across product, engineering, marketing, operations, and Trust & Safety to make Discord better for communities. We’ve been learning from you and studying the following:

  • How can we make it easier to start new communities on Discord?
  • How can we make it easier to moderate communities sustainably on Discord?
  • How can we make it easier to participate in communities on Discord?
  • How can we make it easier to find and join new communities on Discord?

Today, we’re excited to share our first step into this better world: if you run a community, you can now designate your server as a “Community Server” inside Server Settings.

Available now in your Server Settings!

This enables our team to build and release new features that are custom-tailored for communities, and a number of them are ready today, including the following:

  • Welcome Screen: Set up a personalized welcome screen for new visitors of your server so they know what your community is about and where to start. This way, they can immediately head to the welcome and rules channels instead of wandering around lost.
  • Announcement Channels: These are special channels that enable you to broadcast messages beyond your server. Users can “Follow” your announcement channels and receive those updates directly to their own servers.
  • Discovery: You can display your community directly on Discord’s Server Discovery — no more having to advertise somewhere else to attract new users! At launch, this will be limited to servers with more than 10,000 members, Partnered & Verified servers. We will lower these limits over time.
  • Direct Community Updates from Discord: New features and changes from Discord can significantly impact your server. To help keep up to date, you can now select a moderator-only channel for official Discord updates. We’ll give you that heads up so you and your moderation team will always be prepared.
  • Server Insights: Server Insights provides information about your server that can let you know how your community is doing and help you make informed decisions to improve it. How many members joined last week? How many of them have talked? How many left? At launch, Server Insights will be limited to only servers with more than 500 members, Partnered & Verified servers. We will work on reducing this requirement in the future.

Head on over to the Community tab in your Server Settings to learn more about all of these features, and stay tuned for more to come over the next few months.

Go check out your community’s Server Insights!

The Discord Partner Program Returns

For the best servers with active and engaged communities, we’re excited to share that the Partner Program will be officially reopening in the summer. We know many of you have been waiting for a long time, and we’re stoked to finally be able to pull the curtain on what we’ve been working on!

We’ve spent the last year reviewing what exactly makes the Discord Partner Program so special and reworked it from the ground up. We know that many of you spend a ton of time creating fantastic places for your members to hang out, and you deserve to be recognized for that work.

We’ll be releasing another blog with specific details next week. So stay tuned!

More Moderator support on the way

In addition to new features and tools directly in Discord, we also want to roll out specialized resources to moderators who are directly building out these communities and shepherding their growth, day after day.

We’re currently designing a curriculum for mods that starts at the Discord basics, such as how to make decisions, resolve conflicts, and protect your server. More experienced moderators will find something new to learn, with deeper discussions such as policy-crafting and community governance structures. We’re calling this the Discord Mod Academy, and as part of it, we will also be launching a Discord server where server moderators can connect with each other to get moderation advice, feedback, and any additional help you may need.

We’ll have more to share this fall.

This is just the first step

We want Discord to be the best home for your community. Though building communities can be difficult, we’re here to support you, whether you’re a first-time server creator or someone who’s been fostering a community of 250 or 250,000.

In a year from now, if someone wants to start a community dedicated to falconry, ultrarunning, a brand new VR game, or the hottest TV show, we want to make sure that we’ve built the tools to make it easy and given them the knowledge to turn it into a thriving community.

We know we’ve got a long journey ahead, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with you. Be sure to send us an invite to your future falconry server, too!

All of this is just the beginning, and we can’t wait to see what’s next.