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Since Discord launched in 2015, it has grown from a simple social app where people (mostly gamers) could chat and make little haiku bots to an all-purpose replacement for Zoom, Slack, and Facebook.

As it has expanded to juggernaut status, its many charms have remained oblique to people who use it as a basic chat and social app. Like me, for instance; I’m on Discord because I really need to share my opinions on royal gossip and YA fantasy and sci-fi novels, but I’m not really a power user. That’s not to mention the many people who are still struggling to manage their Instagram and WhatsApp notifications and might not see the point in switching to Discord at all.

That’s why today, Discord has unveiled several new features that make it easier and ever more alluring to use Discord. In addition to introducing a more affordable subscription tier that unlocks some of the more desirable for-pay features, it is also launching a new app directory and adding some new resources for developers and startups who want to do business on the platform.

Make My ‘Moji

Unlike many (now-ruined) social media platforms, Discord doesn’t make its revenue from advertising. While the core Discord experience is free, the company does offer Nitro, a $10-per-month subscription service that unlocks the ability for users to make custom emoji, support servers, stream HD video, and upload larger files.

If you’re already on Discord, you may have noticed that other people have snazzy avatars, and maybe you’ve yearned to get your own. I certainly feel this way, but my jealousy never prompted me to pay $10 a month for a subscription, especially when I also had to budget for ad-free Hulu. But now Discord offers Nitro Basic. For $3 a month, I can now whip up all the chameleon heart emoji that my conversations crave, as well as upload bigger files and get new badges on my profile that denote my status.

Breaking the Ice

For many newcomers, Discord feels a little like a fun but chaotic house party. You can’t just waltz in; someone has to invite you. You have no idea where the bathroom is. For about an hour, you’re standing by the fridge, eating chips, and wondering why you’re even there.

Screenshot of the Discord app main screen.

Courtesy of Discord