Everyone is climbing to build a clubhouse clone right now, but for Discord it makes a lot of sense.
With everyone stuck at home and looking for safe ways to revive their social lives over the past year, Discord’s appeal exploded. The company cites new behaviors it observed during the pandemic as inspiration for Stage Channels, a new feature that will facilitate more structured voice chats with designated speakers and listeners.
Voice chat is already Discord’s core feature. This has been the case for years, offering players a crystal clear, seamless voice chat service that blew the functionality of in-game chat services out of the water. But the clubhouse-inspired voting event cannot be denied at the moment, even though Discord was finally there in many ways.
Discord says the new type of channel will be useful for things like voice-based AMAs and interviews, book clubs and even karaoke. The new channels will capture activity already happening on Discord, making it easier for anyone running a server to host formalized calls without having to mess with a number of detailed user permissions.
The new channel type fits perfectly into Discord’s existing mood. Stage channels do what is on the label, so that anyone driving a Discord can curate a speaker experience and use moderator tools to control who gets the microphone and when. Like the clubhouse (or Zoom), participants can raise their hand to speak. They can also slide out quietly.
Stage Channels will be specific to shared servers, which are adapted to larger groups on Discord. To enable the new type of channel, server owners must convert a channel to a shared server if it is not already one.
Because Discord is Discord, voice event detection will not work as it does at Clubhouse, which serves user-created live events in front of and in the center of anyone who opens the app. Discord community servers can apply to be featured in the server discovery menu, but the app’s focus remains on private, intimate groups, and larger interest-based communities of which you are already a part.
Given its healthy user base and existing tools such as the go-to app for casual, seamless voice chat, Discord is well positioned to capture a whole different market for voice-based events. The app is a mainstay in the gaming environment and is generally skewed young, and sets it in contrast to entrepreneurs, VC and brands that flowed to Clubhouse’s early buzz.
Discord’s game DNA does not hold it back. In recent years, Discord has grown beyond its game roots without betraying them, and expanded into a seamless chat experience for everything from study groups to students to influencer fan hubs. Last year, Discord doubled its valuation within six months. Just a quarter later, Microsoft is reportedly in talks with the company about a $ 10 billion deal.