Memrise and Cappuccino are mobile apps designed to help users share, learn and connect. The teams behind these apps saw Discord as an opportunity to facilitate user engagement and reach a wider audience.
Memrise is a language-learning app with more than 65 million users around the world. Their approach combines a great learning experience with a huge amount of effective practice opportunities. One of their unique, AI-powered features is their Discord app, which lets learners practice using a language through role-playing scenarios called “Missions.” Memrise's ultimate goal with their app is to get people to the stage in learning a new language where they're happy to talk to other people in the language they’re learning.
To achieve this, they've built a Discord community server where people can come and practice talking in whichever language they’re learning alongside fellow learners, from total beginners to more advanced speakers. They’ve even brought their conversational AI to the Memrise Discord App and have created a version of their app where people can collaborate to talk in a multi-sided conversation.
Sociaaal is an app studio focused on mobile apps for iOS & Android. One of their apps is called Cappuccino, which allows users to create a daily mini-podcast of stories from their closest friends. After learning about the Discord developer platform, they decided to create a new version of their app specifically for Discord.
Rather than replicating their mobile app’s features, they identified the essence of their experience and brought it to Discord: bringing friends, partners, and family closer despite the distance, giving them a fun and engaging way to deepen their relationships. (Sounds familiar, eh?)
According to Cappuccino, Discord was the perfect place for an experience like theirs as it already allows people to connect in new and authentic ways. By transforming their audio app into a written one and leveraging the latest Large Language Models, they were able to create an app that was more fun and attractive while feeling like it was truly made for Discord. The Sociaaal team says that building an app on Discord felt familiar yet unique, like being one of the first developers on the App Store with incredible potential ahead, and they’ve enjoyed participating in a way of connecting people on Discord which has never been felt before.
Memrise and Cappuccino both found value in utilizing the Discord platform to build extensions of their existing apps.
For Memrise, they liked the idea of their learners having a space to practice speaking with other learners once they’d built their confidence with their Discord application. Discord is known as a place where communities flourish, making it the perfect place for the Memrise team to bring their existing community of learners and provide them with a space where they could meet like-minded people and get regular, effective practice.
Building on Discord provided the Memrise team the possibility of accessing new audiences and user bases that they may not have otherwise reached. Similarly, Cappuccino saw the potential of Discord as a platform where people can connect in a new and authentic way. When the Memrise and Cappuccino teams started building their apps on Discord, their app functions adapted to the platform accordingly. Memrise added a new feature called "Collab" that allows learners to interact with both the Memrise Discord App and their friends, and the ability to ask for a tutor's help. Cappuccino shifted their audio app into a written one, creating an engaging and entertaining experience for their users, and utilized Discord's simple and efficient API to create both slash and user commands. These new commands allow users to send each other “coffees” along with a thoughtful note, or to stimulate new conversations by summarizing answers to questions in a fun way.
Memrise and Cappuccino’s teams were able to create unique Discord apps that fostered a sense of community and utilized AI to enhance their user experience in exciting ways.
Both teams leveraged the power of AI to create their Discord apps.
At Memrise, they used AI technology to harness the incredible power of Large Language Models (LLMs) to create realistic conversations in other languages and develop personalized learning paths for their app’s users. Utilizing AI technology allowed Memrise to analyze the user's learning behavior and adjust the course content to better suit their needs. They also used AI to solve all of their Natural Language Processing problems at Memrise, such as translation, romanization, and extracting key words. The use of Prompt Engineering ensured that conversations feel focused, fruitful, and devoid of some aspects that can naturally arise in “real” conversations, such as misunderstandings and awkward pauses.
Being an audio-based mobile app, Cappuccino faced a few technical barriers when trying to integrate its app's features into Discord. Traditionally, Cappuccino lets users send a question, record a short audio answer or "bean," brewing those beans together with music and fades, and finally serving a mini-podcast or "Cappuccino." Only one problem: Apps on Discord weren’t able to utilize audio messages at this time. To better adapt to the platform, Cappuccino decided to allow Discord users to send in written beans instead, but this solution didn't recreate the feeling of listening to close friends recount their adventures like Cappuccino normally does.
To preserve their mobile app’s experience on Discord, the team turned to AI. They also used a simple API call to a Large Language Model to generate AI-brewed Cappuccinos, creating unpredictability in the app's summaries and making interactions engaging and entertaining. Thanks to LLMs, Cappuccino was able to transform their app into a written one while maintaining the intimate and fun feeling of listening to friends' stories.
Cappuccino's CTO, Yannis Roy, sees Discord as the next great platform for apps and believes that creating an app feels like being among the first App Store developers during the early days of the smartphone market. Cappuccino's CEO, Patrick Stuart-Constant, attributes the likely future success of their app on Discord to the platform's fantastic playground for AI, with Discord users being some of the most AI-savvy and keen user base on the ‘net.
Without the most recent advances in LLMs, Cappuccino wouldn’t have been able to recreate the experience they wanted. The use of AI completely transformed their app's capabilities and created a new way for users to catch up with their friends in engaging and entertaining ways.
Discord is a platform that offers developers a multitude of features that they can utilize when building apps. Memrise found that integrating Large Language Models was relatively easy: all they had to do was write what they wanted the app to do in English and call a straightforward API. They also implemented QA sessions to ensure that the app would remain within its desired parameters, such as staying within the intended language complexity and avoiding getting derailed by off-topic conversations.
Discord's simple code structure allows developers to easily organize commands, present modals for a better user input experience, foster user participation with interactive buttons, and update the state of app messages with rich message formatting. The Cappuccino team utilized these features to create a scalable, secure, and responsive app in only a few weeks. They set up their prototype in a few hours and were able to finalize their app with the help of Discord's developer resources and documentation.
After creating their app, both Memrise and Cappuccino went through a QA process to ensure that their apps met the needs of a Discord user.
For Memrise, the QA process focused on ensuring that the app speaks in its intended voice, stays constrained in the guardrails set for it, regulates the complexity of its language to adapt to the skillset of the person learning a language, and avoids getting knocked off course by tangential conversations.
In Cappuccino’s case, their QA process focused on app functionality, the user experience, and how well it performed with individuals across different channels. Both brands tested their Discord app with real users and iterated quickly based on that user feedback. For developers, Discord provides a way to prototype an app, get that prototype in front of users directly, and iterate based on the feedback from those users almost instantly.
The developers at Memrise and Cappuccino found building an app on Discord to be a fun and enjoyable experience, and the resources provided to them by Discord helped transform the experience of building and releasing an app.
Memrise CEO, Steve Toy, believes that Discord’s reach shouldn’t be underestimated. Steve explains, “much like Reddit is a tool with a super-engaged set of all the people you might find on the internet, Discord is a super-engaged set of people who care about community”.
Cappuccino’s advice to developers/brands considering making an app on Discord is: “Don’t hesitate!” They found that the framework Discord provides makes launching an app straightforward and enjoyable, and stressed the importance of simplicity when building on Discord
If you’re interested in learning more about how to build an app on Discord, check out our Getting Started Guide!