The Discord update adds activities, an app directory, and a cheaper Nitro subscription

The Discord update adds activities, an app directory, and a cheaper Nitro subscription

Discord announced loads of updates to its online communication software and service today, including new ways to interact with third-party apps on the platform and a cheaper Nitro subscription tier.

The VoIP and text chat service is adding a new “App Directory” where server moderators can search for apps and integrate them into their servers, all within the Discord app. Third-party apps were already supported, but you had to find them on the web and install them. This new approach is more akin to an app store on the platform.

Longtime Discord users tend to refer to apps as bots; these are special features that you can activate with the “/” command, such as polls, moderation, meme generation, and more. Essentially, Discord has made it easy to find and install these bots. The app directory was announced today and launches on October 18th.

But the more remarkable development on this front may be the significant expansion of “Activities”, which are multi-user experiences that you can enjoy together with friends in a voice call. Chatting friends can play poker or chess together, watch YouTube videos Teleparty/Netflix Party-style and more. This development shows that Discord is moving beyond its original competence as a speech and chat platform for gamers into what it has become: a virtual community hub for people with different interests and social connections, not just for games.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Discord was used as a place for friends and family to stay in touch and share their lives with each other. It is also used as a gathering place for hobbyists in other areas, such as the sneaker collector community as one example. And in some industries, it’s even used as a place for professional networking. In all of these cases, it’s an alternative for those groups compared to Facebook, Twitter, or other feed-based social media services.

Cheaper Nitro

The last major update that Discord announced today is for its premium subscription service, Nitro. Until now, the cheapest Nitro option was $4.99 per month. The other at $9.99 offered a number of perks like higher upload size limits, the ability to use emoticons from one channel on any other channel, custom server profiles, HD video streaming, and a few other things. Still, that price was a bit steep for many users—especially considering most people would never touch most of the benefits it offers.

To solve this problem, Discord introduced Nitro Basic, which offers arguably the two most appealing Nitro features – larger uploads and serverless emojis – for just $2.99. While the classic Nitro subscription increased upload limits from a paltry 10MB to 100MB, Nitro Basic uploads a maximum of 50MB. Nitro Basic also includes non-server stickers, a Nitro profile badge, and custom video backgrounds.

All of these updates tell the same story about the platform: it’s trying to overcome the perception that it’s primarily a toy VoIP platform. Most people who use Discord on a regular basis already knew it was heading in that direction, and the team developing the app did more so shifted focus to this more expansive concept.

Update: This article did not originally mention the $4.99 Nitro Classic subscription. We’ve updated it to correctly note that the $9.99 option wasn’t the only one before today.

Image listed by Discord

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