Discord, the game chat platform, has added a new feature called Stage Channels. These are described as “a special type of voice channel … where some can speak and others can listen as the audience.” It is essentially the defining feature of Clubhouse, the only invitation mobile app that briefly attracted media attention earlier this year.
In a stage channel, some participants are marked as speakers while everyone else is the silent audience. You can think of it as live streaming without the video component, or as a live podcast. Or wait – it’s radio. Do you remember radio, right? For a moment there, I did not.
This functionality has been sought after by social media companies in recent months due to the growing popularity of Clubhouse, a mobile app that was suddenly used by Silicon Valley and American media people. At the time, it was agreed that the key function of the Clubhouse would be copied by all other social media companies that went ̵
Adding extra interest to this story is rumors last week that Microsoft is in talks to buy Discord for $ 10 billion (around £ 7.2 billion). Microsoft has tried and failed to build its own streaming and community tool for people who play games (RIP Mixer), so it’s not surprising that they will be interested in buying one that already exists.
For me, I only like audio content because I can listen to it while traveling (usually walking) easier than I can watch a video. This convenience is greatly diluted by the fact that the sound is live and streamed instead of being downloaded before I leave the house.
You can read more about how Discord’s new stage channels work and how to start one on this Discord support page.