Discord is rebranding as part of a larger effort to appeal to a larger audience. Discord is also taking a more hands-on approach to fighting racial injustice.

Discord's gaming logo, now rebranded.
Discord’s logo now rebranded beyond gaming.
Image credit: Discord

Discord has recently announced its decision to rebrand as a service for more than gaming. Because of COVID-19, Discord has surged in popularity. The service is now getting over 100 million monthly users. However, many users are not using the platform for its original purpose—gaming. Discord has embraced those users by rebranding itself as a platform for anything, not just gaming. Although, that means Discord must also monitor servers for hateful content.

Discord began as a service that offered voice and text chat for gaming. Previously, gamers needed to choose between TeamSpeak or Skype. Unfortunately, Skype was more focused on video chats and could use up too much memory. TeamSpeak fixed many of those problems but had a high cost. Discord solved both of those issues. It was free and gaming-oriented.

However, Discord has gotten new competition. Slack and Steam have both released competitors. Steam offers direct chats and voice chats that link directly to games. Slack is more oriented around business. As a result, Discord may be trying to expand its user base to beat out the competition.

A Discord server, prior to the gaming rebrand.
A Discord server, prior to the rebrand, dedicated to topics other than gaming.
Image Credit: Author

Even before Discord’s rebrand, many people used it for things other than gaming. There were Discord servers for politics, YouTubers, religion, and technology. Some online companies even operated on Discord. In this way, Discord’s rebrand may not be an attempt to expand past gamers. It could be a move to include the users who are already there.

Regardless of why, Discord has made some notable changes. It added server-wide video chats for communication. Discord also doubled their capacity for voice and video chat. In addition, they have fixed hundreds of bugs for ease of use.

With these changes, Discord is also addressing other issues. Most notably, racism and bigotry. There have been many examples of racist or hateful Discord groups. Discord addressed these in a blog post. In, response, it launched “Trust & Safety.” Trust & Safety allows users to report hateful content. Discord also announced automation to police servers.

These are big changes for Discord. What do you think of this announcement? Do you like it? Would you prefer it stayed focused on gaming? Let me know in the comments! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the Aroono newsletter for updated content!