What are the benefits of Discord
What is Discord Messenger and how do companies use it?
Discord originally started as a chat program for gamers. But the user-friendliness of the application and numerous clever functions have made Discord Messenger one of the most popular new online platforms in record time. Discord combines various elements of social networks such as WhatsApp, Slack and Facebook in one application, which makes Discord an interesting channel for companies.
In a nutshell: The Discord Messenger
- Claim: The trend messenger with a rapidly growing community
- Number of users worldwide: 300 million registered users and 100 million active users per month (as of February 2020)
- Number of users in Germany: approx. 3.5 million monthly desktop users (as of January 2021)
- Target group: Gamers, young people, musicians and esports companies
- Specialty: Very high proportion of desktop use
- Advantages: Free use, increasing number of users, high level of commitment, direct exchange with target group
- disadvantage: Low data protection, no end-to-end encryption
In this post you will learn:
- Things to know about Discord Messenger
- Discord Messenger for Business: How Can Businesses Use Discord?
- Discord Messenger vs. WhatsApp: Which Messenger is Better?
- Conclusion on Discord's potential
1. Things to know about Discord Messenger
When Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy launched Discord in 2015, their main focus was on the online video gamer community. Your goal: an efficient one Chat that gamers can use to network and communicate with one another quickly without affecting the speed of the games.
The user-friendly design, the very efficient handling and numerous additional functions made Discord one of the most popular gaming chats worldwide.
Word got around quickly and now Discord is also popular with many user and age groups via the original target group (young, male).
Discord Messenger offers these functions
In addition to regular chat, Discord also enables video chat functions and the sending of voice messages.
There are special voice chats for exchanging voice messages. When a user enters such a chat room, the microphone switches on automatically and you can exchange messages with other users via voice messages, similar to what you can do with the Trend app Clubhouse knows.
In addition, files such as videos, documents, music or images can also be sent via Discord Messenger.
Above all, the servers have contributed to the success of Discord beyond the gaming community.
The importance of servers on Discord
Users can come together in groups on Discord, the so-called servers. The servers are a mixture of forum and interest group, where like-minded people come together in thematically organized groups.
For example, there are learning groups, fitness groups and forums on Discord where users can exchange ideas about the latest sneaker fashion, for example.
Some servers are public so anyone can join. But there are also private servers that you can only join with an invitation.
Each user can also start their own server.
Users can configure the servers according to their preferences, take on certain administrative roles in the servers or even mute individual group members. Using the server menu on the left side of the screen, users can also switch between different servers with just one click.
There is no upper limit for servers. Any Discord user can join as many servers as they want.
In addition to the group servers, there are also classic messenger functions on Discord. As with messenger services such as WhatsApp or Telegram, users can send private messages to friends here. Group messages are also possible.
If you want, you can send messages, documents, videos and photos as well as GIFs or emojis via Discord Messenger.
The premium version “Nitro” also gives users a number of additional options, such as the ability to stream in 4K or send larger files.
It is also possible to connect other social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook or Twitch as well as game consoles such as Xbox or PS4 to Discord.
Discord Messenger can be used online in the browser, as a desktop version (by downloading the app on the homepage) and on mobile devices.
While the Discord Messenger is generally praised for its sophisticated functions and ease of use, there are some points of criticism in the area of "data protection".
Because while most of the functions on the platform are available for free, Discord makes money selling user data. The messages and servers are accordingly not provided with end-to-end encryption.
Discord thus has access to all messages and can process information from them into salable data at its own discretion.
Although this is openly noted in Discord's terms and conditions, it may be problematic for users who value their privacy, even if some of the tracking functions can be switched off manually.
Another problem for privacy on Discord is the fact that the Californian company's servers are located in the USA, where data protection guidelines are not as strict as in the European Union.
However, this does not seem to deter people from Discord Messenger, as the user numbers show.
🔥 Tip: 👉 Use Messenger with MessengerPeople GDPR-compliant
Current user numbers Discord Messenger
Discord's number of users has risen continuously since it was founded. Discord experienced a particularly large increase in 2020 due to the corona pandemic.
According to Forbes, Discord had 300 million registered users worldwide in 2020. That is 50 million more users than in 2019 and four times as many as in 2018.
Discord itself states that 100 million users are active on the platform every month, 76 percent of them outside of North America.
For comparison: Twitter has around 330 million active users per month worldwide, WhatsApp user numbers come to two billion - around 58 million of them in Germany. Discord has not yet published any user numbers for individual countries outside of North America. The exact number of Discord users in Germany is therefore not known.
But according to a web analysis by Similarweb, 4.17 percent of the around 85 million desktop hits on Discord came from Germany in January 2021.
This makes it possible to roughly estimate that at least 3.5 million German users cavort on Discord every month. However, this does not include mobile access. The Discord Messenger offers great potential for companies.
2. Discord Messenger for Business: How Can Businesses Use Discord?
With its chat, video and data transfer functions, the Discord Messenger is an ideal tool for internal corporate communication.
The advantage of Discord over comparable services such as Slack or Microsoft Teams is that almost all functions are available for free. Unlike the business offerings of the competition, companies do not have to pay any monthly fees for the functions of Discord.
However, companies should be careful when using Discord. Because Discord's open data model may not always be compatible with the requirements of the GDPR, depending on the business model.
If you want to use the Discord Messenger for employee communication in the company, you should get advice from a data protection expert in advance as a precaution.
What can quickly degenerate into an immoderate monster on WhatsApp or Telegram groups is simply part of Discord. The community where everyone can speak and write, however, needs a special target group. If brands want to build a real fan community and can give up some control, Discord is the ideal solution.
The sports program #ranNFL has long been very successful with WhatsApp newsletters. Since the WhatsApp newsletter was banned, ran has offered its Community Discord as an alternative.
But the Discord Messenger is predestined as a chat platform for customer service. Anyone who is on Discord wants to consciously exchange ideas with others. Businesses can use this to build a direct channel for customer service on Discord.
According to a survey by Social Media Today, 67 percent of consumers use social networks to solve problems with a product or service. Discord could be an important new channel for businesses to do just that.
Who will become better known as a brand, reach new potential customers and Build long-term customer relationships would like to find an ideal platform for this in Discord.
Because Discord users are very active. You use Discord specifically to exchange ideas directly with interest groups or with companies. Brands can thus on Discord Collect feedback from customers, as well as building a close community and thus winning loyal, returning customers in the long term.
The fact that Discord sorts itself according to interests actually makes it particularly easy for companies to to find their target group and address them directly.
Discord recently introduced a corporate partner program for this purpose. It offers participating partners various advantages, such as free access to the additional functions of Nitro and the possibility to individualize their own servers in the branded design.
Partners are also highlighted on the discovery page so that users can discover the respective servers more quickly, which can significantly increase the visibility of your own brand.
Current partner companies on Discord include the learning platform AP Students and the dating network Spectrum.
The partner companies use Discord so that their customers can network better. At the same time, they announce company news such as new products or new workshops or offer Discord users special discounts in order to win new customers via Discord.
So far, Discord does not offer its own chatbots on the platform. But companies can easily program their own chatbots and integrate them into their respective profiles.
For example, AP Students uses its Discord bots to answer frequent customer questions around the clock.
There is also the option of connecting the Discord server to a Facebook page via web tools such as Zapier and thus programming trigger commands such as automated responses or reactions.
🔥 Tip: 👉 More about chatbots and the use of chatbots in various industries!
3. Discord Messenger vs. WhatsApp: Which Messenger is Better?
In a direct comparison of the number of users between Discord and WhatsApp, Discord's chat messenger does not seem so promising at first. In Germany in particular, where 80 percent of all Internet users use WhatsApp, companies can reach more people via WhatsApp.
Important communication functions are also missing on Discord. For example, companies cannot use Discord Newsletter send.
In the area of security, the end-to-end encryption and personal data protection on WhatsApp, even with the new features announced, is better than on Discord.
But the rapidly increasing number of users and, in particular, the high level of engagement on Discord show that companies shouldn't write off Discord. But on the contrary.
Because such committed users are difficult to find on other social media platforms. Even for small brands or niche products, it is currently still very easy to build a following of a thousand followers on a Discord business server in a very short time.
This is much more difficult on more competitive platforms like WhatsApp or Facebook.
The very small fitness platform Effective Fitness, for example, has around 8,000 followers on its Discord server. And the highly specialized fashion label Hypebeast already has almost 18,500 users on its server.
Another interesting development is the increasing number of influencers on Discord, who attract their own followers and thus other new target groups to Discord.
4. Conclusion on Discord's potential
Discord is a new, promising platform with an increasing number of very committed users in a very special target group. Although Discord Messenger is not yet as popular as WhatsApp or Telegram, it offers companies an interesting new marketing channel.
The Discord Messenger unfolds its strengths in particular in the area of direct customer communication and in building a loyal customer community. Especially digital niche products, which get lost faster on larger social media channels, are very successful on Discord.
Should the platform also continue on its current growth path, Discord will probably introduce further marketing options for companies in the future. Anyone who positions themselves early on Discord will probably benefit more later.
🔥 Tip: You can find out which messengers are still relevant for companies in our lead article The most important messengers for companies.
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