If you have an office job, you probably use Skype for Business or Slack. But have you ever thought about using Discord for business? This is not the intended use, but people are so in love with the platform that they are starting to find ways to do so.
What is stopping companies from using Discord for business? Everything about the platform seems to work just as well as other options, but there are a few caveats. The first roadblock is that Discord is associated with gaming. Business leaders may not be the most excited about using a service made for gaming and don't want anything to do with the field. The overall look of Discord is obviously aimed at gamers as well and would have to be changed. Some users pushing for a Discord for business platform have suggested a separately marketed tool that has many of the same customization features. Another concern is that some companies prefer to self-host their chat servers, which Discord does not allow. Discord users have many needs and suggestions to make a potential Discord for business application.
Discord lies in stark contrast to Skype and Slack, as well as others, which are specifically marketed toward businesses. It's marketed to gamers. Non-gamer users are pretty much incidental and discovered Discord through gaming.
As far as we can tell, no major businesses are using Discord over Slack or Skype. But some startups definitely are. eSports startup Ardent United wrote an article about how they chose Discord over Slack for their company communications. They cite something that all company IT departments will enjoy, which is that Discord is pretty lightweight on systems whereas Slack is not as lightweight.
Other features that users like for business are screen sharing and video conferencing. Many people are unsatisfied with Skype's screen sharing, and they report that it is unsatisfactory. Discord's screen sharing, however, is generally reported to be very reliable and high quality. This is an essential feature for any team that needs to collaborate on projects and don't want to have any annoyances comes up along the way. Skype has plenty of video conferencing features, but again Discord has very reliable and high-quality tools for this. Skype does support more simultaneous video conference attendees, but Discord supports up to 10. There are also voice channels in Discord that large numbers of users can be part of. Not every business meeting needs video.
Discord has some major advantages over Skype and Slack. The first one, which will make business owners happy, is that Discord is totally free, no matter how large your team is. With Skype and Slack, you need to pay for teams and additional features. Discord offers a lot of the same technology for the low, low price of free. The service also has a friends list and great customization on who can be in certain channels within your servers. These are small things that set Discord apart and make it a great communications tool for gamers and business professionals.
There are some additional aspects of current business communications tools that would need to be added to Discord in order to make it useful to businesses. We already mentioned the fact that Discord is marketed to gamers and there is no way to self-host, but there are some other useful improvements that the service needs. For one thing, Discord needs to have more admin privileges. It is currently possible for a user to delete a rude message and no one will ever see it again. Whereas on Slack, those messages are logged and visible. This holds users accountable and makes them be on their best behavior at work.
Discord may be young, and it may not be aimed at business professionals. But users of Slack and Skype are feeling the pressure to use a more efficient and user-friendly service. If Discord can drop its gaming niche and branch out to other groups, they might have a chance! If you do use Discord for business, please tell us what you like about it, and what else the platform needs to be used in business. We would love to know, and we're sure Discord would too! Be sure to leave comments in their feedback section!
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