By the most recent report, Discord had around 90 million users at the end of 2017. They have become a major player in the group communications field, especially within gaming and other special interests. But the company was not always so successful. For all of those who have wanted to know where Discord came from and how they got so big, you can find out here!
Discord wasn't the first stab at a successful business that current CEO Jason Citron had. His first notable business was Aurora Feint, the company behind OpenFeint. OpenFeint was a social platform for mobile gaming, and was named after a game developed by the company. The platform was first released in 2009, and at one point in 2010, there were 900 applications in the App Store that used it. In 2011, Japanese company GREE, Inc. purchased the company, but soon OpenFeint was plagued by lawsuits. While the lawsuits were dismissed eventually, GREE discontinued the service and decided to use their own similar software.
With the $104 million made from the sale of OpenFeint, Jason Citron started Hammer & Chisel in 2012. This studio developed the game Fates Forever, which was intended to be the first big player in the mobile MOBA market. The game was a commercial failure, but a new idea emerged. The team had never had a great experience in VoIP communication through the usual tools include Skype and TeamSpeak.
With the idea fresh in their minds, Jason Citron and the Hammer & Chisel team went to the investors to support their new idea. YouWeb's 9+ incubator, Benchmark, and Tencent all pitched in to make this dream a reality. In May 2015, Discord released its first public version. Through eSports and Twitch streamers, Discord became extremely popular. Its low latency and IP security features made it a very attractive choice for these audiences. The company didn't even have to spend money on acquiring new users, as the platform exploded on its own. Over time, Discord rolled out monetization, in the form of stickers and emojis.
Discord has come a long way since the early days of funding. In total, they have raised $79.3 million, and have over 90 million users. The company self-reports that there are 14,000,000 active daily players. Discord is now a household name in gaming communities, as well as many others. While most users have Discord as a tool for communicating with gamers, there are a ton of people who are part of anime servers, music servers, and plenty of others!
The company is well-known for coming to conventions, interacting with fans, and being generally funny. They have given themselves a notable online persona by being witty, sassy, and generally funny. Each Discord update is a treat to read, as they embody the comedy that the internet loves so much!
With Discord adding new features all the time, it's incredible that the service remains free. Many people ask how Discord makes money. Well, in addition to all of the investment money that they have been riding off of, there are a few ways that the company generates income. After all, Discord had promised that they won't sell customer data or run ads on the platform. Most of the money comes from users purchasing the premium version, Nitro. This is a lot of cosmetic stuff and emojis that don't really add anything practical to the service. But, these premium users do get a bigger file upload limit and a special badge. Essentially this is just a way for dedicated users to give back to the service they love! Additionally, they sell merchandise online, like t-shirts and hats.
The sky is the limit for this great communications platform. More features are getting added all the time, which means more and more people will convert from services like Skype and TeamSpeak. Eventually, Discord may become the premiere communications platform! More and more users are using the service for gaming and beyond, to keep up to date with groups of friends. Let us know in the comments where you think the service is going, and what the future holds.