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The Discord App & Digital Workspaces: How Does It Fit In?

“The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art.” ― John Lasseter, American Film Director

If 2020 taught us anything, it was that the move toward online communications tools was a much-needed investment, especially in the workplace. However, through trial and error, we learned that it may not be the best idea to work with just any old tool. We needed capacity and innovation on that front. This is when platforms like Zoom and Teams took the spotlight. But, with the passage of time and the peak of the pandemic behind us, more interesting tactics were adopted. Social media has become a big player in the online business space, more so than it ever had been. And out of this fray emerged a few oddities that may have seemed like unlikely candidates for the business world, but have since been embraced to certain degrees. One such platform that we are going to talk about today is the Discord app. 

You may have heard about the Discord app in the gaming space, as gamers are the company’s primary target audience. The tool allows you to talk or text with active users across the globe with surprisingly great connective quality. It may not be built for businesses in particular, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming rather well integrated with various workspaces.

So, what is Discord used for in the corporate arena? Why are people using it for business? What are its advantages and drawbacks? These are some of the questions that we will address in this article.

Discord is like a lot of chat apps that you might be familiar with, but with more communication options. Since it was created for gamers, the whole concept of the app is centered around a fun and informal layout. Having said that, each player can create a private communication server. Each server can house various channels for a set number of permitted users. People can call each other, text, have video and audio calls, send memes, and so on.

The gaming community uses it to chat with fellow teammates when they are in a game. Think of it as a common area where everyone can get together and have a good time. From a communication aspect alone, the Discord app holds a lot of potential in the business world.

How Does the Discord App Work?

To best illustrate how Discord works, we need to explore a simple example. Let’s say John creates a Discord server for fans of Pokemon. He then creates multiple channels within the server. One is for #rules, another for #FAQs, another for #Trainers, another for #Admin, and so on. He also sets the permissions for each channel so that only certain people can post or view the content. In fact, this is quite reminiscent of Slack, but for gamers.

When a user comes into a channel, they can send messages in individual channels or they can message everyone at the same time if they have permission and if they use the relevant channels’ hashtags. This makes the Discord app one of the more agile platforms for both gamers as well as businesses.

Discord app and communication quality

Discord has a high communication quality since it was built for gamers. This makes is ideal in terms of a work tool.

Benefits of Using Discord in Business Capacity

We have already talked about how great the connectivity and communication of the Discord app are. Now the question is, what else does it offer? Let’s take a look at some of the appealing features of this unique platform that are attracting businesses to it.

1. Affordability

Most of the Discord app’s features are free to use. If you had your employees there, they would have everything they needed just with the free membership. But, if you want to take it a step further, you can spend a small fee on Discord premium- “Nitro” and gain access to HD video capabilities, larger servers, more emojis, and a few additional perks.

2. Easy to Use

Unlike most other workplace platforms, you don’t need someone to walk you through how to use Discord. If you have ever used a chat app, you won’t have any issues navigating the Discord app. It also helps that the features are so intuitive.

3. Good Audio Features

Given that it was primarily made for gaming, the audio is clear and doesn’t lag in a conversation. This makes Discord one of the most reliable platforms for audio communication like calls. In a business environment, this is a great asset for those group meetings.

4. Use Bots

Bots on Discord servers are one of the more interesting aspects of this platform. These bots operate on artificial intelligence and can be directed to automate several tasks. For example, they can welcome new members, ban troublemakers, moderate discussions, and even initiate mini-games and music within a server. From a business perspective, this could be used to automate daily tasks, track progress, and so on.

5. Large Servers

Discord servers are equipped to handle a tremendous amount of traffic through their servers. So much so that you can host live videos in a chat with up to 25 people at a time. These servers have been known to hold tens of thousands of users at their peak. Even if you don’t fill up every single channel on your server, it is still exciting to think about the possibilities that it could hold. Imagine being able to host an entire company on a single server!

6. Secure IP and DDoS Protection

DDoS attacks are an unfortunate part of the gaming world. However, the Discord app takes extra steps to prevent such actions. It employs two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized users from accessing certain accounts. The IP security is also really good as it requires you to verify yourself from a different IP address before it grants you access.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is equivalent to magic.”

- Arthur C. Clarke, Fiction Writer

Downsides of Using Discord in a Company Setting

While all these attractive features might be an encouraging reason to jump into the Discord deep end, there are some downsides too. As with all things, we want to present you with a fairly objective and even-handed perspective on the matter. This way, you can make a more informed decision as to if this is the right path for your work environment.

1. Hard to Follow

While all these attractive features might be an encouraging reason to jump into the Discord deep end, there are some downsides too. As with all things, we want to present you with a fairly objective and even-handed perspective on the matter. This way, you can make a more informed decision as to if this is the right path for your work environment.

2. Limited File Uploads

As we mentioned earlier, the Discord servers themselves are quite capable of handling large volumes of users. The same cannot be said for file sizes. You can only send files up to 100 MB. This may seem like it’s enough, but when you have to share videos and large images, it can become cumbersome.

3. Concerns Over Terms and Services

One of the most important aspects of any service that you use as a business is the assurances that you receive for your data, messages, and files. With Discord, there is no guarantee that they will have the same assurances. As per Discord’s terms of service, the platform can remove your account at any time, including your data. If you rely on Discord to store important things, it may result in disastrous outcomes.

Since Discord was made for gamers, the primary demographic is young and tech-savvy.

Discord app demographics

Discord’s Demographics: Who Is Using It and Why?

As mentioned before, the Discord app was made for primarily gaming communities. This means that the main demographic is young, tech-savvy, and most likely into gaming. As to why they might prefer it, well, aside from all the benefits, we listed above, most of them already have an account. They are familiar with the interface and are comfortable communicating through it. As a bonus, it doesn’t carry the same level of formality as platforms like Teams or Slack. And while the latter two are great for smaller groups of people, they aren’t the best for communicating with people outside the organization.

Is the Discord App Right for Your Business?

As it stands, there are two arguments to be made for and against the use of Discord for business. On the one hand, you have vast benefits, and a great price if you want to take full advantage of the features. It is a great space for company culture and interacting with teammates in a less than formal way, which is where most work cultures are headed anyway. 

On the other hand, there are security issues to consider with this platform. If you are a business that needs a platform to store data and hold it, then you might be waiting a while with Discord. There are also no guarantees here. There is also a low file size share to be considered. The majority of businesses do operate around these factors, so it makes a platform like the Discord app less than ideal.

At the end of the day, though, it is entirely your call, and it depends entirely on the needs of your business. If you need an app for communication, then it’s perfect, but just be careful about sharing any proprietary information on there. Maybe as time goes by, a business version of the app might come out, or you might see some new business-friendly features coming into play.