At Discord, we want to create a space where anyone can be their true selves and find belonging. We do this by helping people find and discover communities for the things they’re most interested in. These communities come together in all sorts of ways, and one of those ways includes running events where a handful of speakers engage with a larger audience.

However, running these kinds of events in Voice channels was a bit more difficult than it needed to be. Admins needed to make sure all the right permissions are set, struggled to find a clean way to organize who should talk and when, and moderators would have to constantly mute and unmute people to keep things orderly. 

To help support these types of events, we created Stage Channels, making hosting larger-scale audio events to connect and engage with their members easier than ever.

It’s been a hit. Communities took full advantage of Stage channels and ran some amazing events within their communities, including AMAs to open mics, beatboxing competitions to art conferences, and even discussions over what sorts of foods pineapple should be on (does it really go on pizza?). As of today, almost a million communities have run a Stage to date, with hundreds of thousands of communities running audio events each month. 

As we developed Stages, we also wanted to give users a way to find and connect with new communities they might not know of yet. Stage Discovery was built as a way for communities to showcase events to the global Discord user base and to invite potential new members into their community. It’s been rolled out to a few countries in a pilot form over the past few months. 

Focusing on the Future of Communities 

Since the initial launch of the Stage Discovery pilot, we’ve been keeping an eye on whether or not Stage Discovery has been truly supporting our goal of helping people find community and evaluating if it’s delivering on that promise. In listening to our communities and admins directly, we’ve learned that we still have work to do in regards to server onboarding and moderation. 

We want to make sure we continue to invest and build the features that best serve our Communities. Because of this, we’ve made the decision to sunset Stage Discovery starting on October 4, 2021. We’re going to take some time to rethink the Discovery aspect of Stages and how we can better build a place that best connects people to the communities most relevant to them. 

In the meantime, we’re going to continue to invest in Stage channels themselves as a way for communities to engage and focus our efforts on solving community onboarding challenges that we’ve heard directly from admins, moderators, and users. These will include improvements such as:

  • Scheduling events within your community: We’ve just begun rolling out an aptly named Scheduled Events feature that allows users to plan events ahead of time so more members can be aware and join — whether or not your actual event takes place on Discord. 
  • Making sure the right members join: Enabling more screening functionality so you can get the right members into your community easily and securely. 
  • Better welcoming your newest members: More ways to guide new members towards the proper channels to participate in so they can easily find ways to engage in your community no matter how large or small.
  • Improving our moderation toolset: Additional features and settings to help moderators on Discord keep things orderly and foster healthy engagement within their communities. 

We’re really excited about the future for communities on Discord and are thankful to the amazing admins, moderators, and users around the world who provide us with the insight, feedback, and inspiration to ensure we continue to invest in creating a place that best serves them. If you have feedback or think of something you think could help your own server, let us know on our feedback site or hit us up on Twitter