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What is Discord and How Does It Work?

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: June 9, 2024
What is Discord and How Does It Work?

Discord is an instant messaging platform, with a particular focus on voice messaging or voice calls. This is one of the reasons it has been so popular with gamers from all over the world. It is a platform that allows you to create chat servers to enable communication between people with similar tastes. It is useful in building the kind of communities that have become very popular in gaming due to the great versatility of content and gamers.

The popularity of Discord is on the rise. More and more people are making their own communities, but due to its recent popularity it is important to clarify what the platform is about. Although its use has spread, many people outside of the gaming community are not sure what is Discord and how does it work? At oneHOWTO we make Discord explained by answering this question.

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  1. What is Discord and when did it begin?
  2. What is Discord used for?
  3. How Discord works
  4. How to get started on Discord

What is Discord and when did it begin?

Discord is a social media platform. Its purpose is to allow the creation of chat groups for different games and online communities. You can think of it as something similar to TeamSpeak or Skype, but includes the functions of more professional tools, an aspect that has earned it comparisons to the instant messaging service Slack. Some even consider it Slack for gamers.

The application has versions for PC and also for mobile devices. It also has a version which you can use directly from the browser without downloading the software. It has many features, allowing you to chat by text, voice and even make video conferences. All these services are offered completely free of charge, making it a free application.

The origin of the Discord concept comes from CEO Jason Citron. He is the founder of OpenFeint, a social platform designed for mobile devices. The public launch of Discord occurred in May 2015.

According to Citron, the only area where Discord was pushed was in Reddit communities. It is here where many people discovered replacing internet relay chat (IRC) servers with those of Discord. The platform grew in popularity through ESports players and LAN tournaments, as well as streaming sites like Twitch. Learn about the most subbed Twitch streamers in the world in our related article.

Such was the growth of Discord that it had raised an additional 20 million dollars to finance the software by January 2016. This investment has helped it to become the popular messaging service that it is now.

What is Discord and How Does It Work? - What is Discord and when did it begin?

What is Discord used for?

You can use the platform for whatever purpose you want, but its greatest impact can be seen in the gaming community. In addition to organizing and playing video games, it is an ideal application to meet virtually with colleagues and friends. When playing games, it allows you to talk to other players while you play thanks to the voice chat features.

Conversations with other users are carried out through the platform's servers. This is the name given to each community created on Discord. In other words, each community represents having your own internet relay chat (IRC). This is because each server has different channels, among which users are able to communicate with each other.

The groups or servers can be for specific games, developer studios and other themes. They can be public or private, although they are always a meeting point for users who want to get together and chat.

Despite the fact that Discord's fame comes from the gamer side, there are many other servers that are dedicated to other interests or hobbies. In the chats, you can send GIFs, share memes, screenshots or simply talk about your day to day with friends or other users.

Learn more about the gaming community at large with our article on what types of gamers are there?

How Discord works

Once it finishes loading, Discord displays a splash screen. Here you will be able to see your friends list in the main window. On the left side of the screen, you can see the servers you have joined. Each user is given a unique Discord tag and consists of a username (case sensitive) and also an ID number.

At the top of the home screen you will find the ‘Add friend’ button which will allow you to connect with other users. If they accept this friend request that you send them, you can start a text, video or voice chat directly from this screen.

You can even add more people in the same chat. If your intention is to chat regularly, the best option is likely through a server.

In order to enhance one of its great versatility, Discord has decided to explore other methods of revenue. This includes such as the creation of its own game store. It is a section that you will see implemented in their service and it is fed by classic games, indie games and even some exclusive titles.

What is Discord and How Does It Work? - How Discord works

How to get started on Discord

To connect and use Discord, you need to do it through a device that is compatible. If this is the case with your device, you can register with an account on the platform and a permanent connection to the Internet.

To sign up for the app, you can use any of the Discord clients. The easiest method is through the web.

Now that you know what Discord is and what it is for, discover other trending applications:

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What is Discord and How Does It Work?