Debuting in May 2015, Discord now boasts upwards of 100 million monthly active users. The app is particularly popular in the US and Western Europe.
What is Discord?
We might think of Discord as a Zoom-Slack-Reddit hybrid. The app is essentially a high-tech messaging platform, giving users the option to interact via text, video, or voice clips. It can be installed on both PC and mobile.
Discord is free-to-use (although a premium feature is available), responsive, and has an attractive, minimal interface. It makes use of ‘servers’ – topic-based chat rooms where like-minded users discuss their favorite subjects.
The app is synonymous with, and historically marketed towards, gamers. They use the real-time chat feature to communicate with friends during large multi-player games, like Fortnite or League of Legends.
Discord has been one of the real success stories of the last year, benefiting from the surge in online activity caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. After raising $100 million in funding in July, the company was valued at $3.5 billion.
To appeal to a broader market, Discord has begun to instigate a thorough rebranding program. Most significantly, in March the app’s slogan was changed from “Chat for Gamers” to “Chat for Communities and Friends”. By attracting new non-gaming users it hopes to become a genuine rival to industry leaders like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
How to make an app like Discord?
Discord’s selection of practical and innovative features have made it a rising star in the communications industry. If you plan to create a chat app that is similar in style, it helps to know the features making Discord stand out:
- User profile. Each user has a customizable account. Once signed up, you can join/create servers, add your friends, and connect games.
- Servers. Users can join private or public chat rooms dedicated to discussing specific topics. Some of the biggest are focused on video games, however, there are also servers centered around anything from sports to gardening.
- Channels. Think of ‘channels’ as small threads that make up a server. Each server can hold up to 500 channels. A business using Discord might organize channels around different projects or departments, for example. This helps to bring structure to the server.
- Roles. Each server has a selection of admins who help to run it and enforce rules. ‘Leader’, ‘Facilitator’ and ‘Timekeeper’ are just three of the roles members can take.
- Notifications. All communications apps require notifications to indicate when a user has been messaged. On Discord, you can extensively customize your notification settings, muting specific servers or channels, for example.
- Video call. In May, Discord upped the number of users permitted on private video calls from 10 to 40.
- Screen share.While on video calls, users can make their screens public, much like on Zoom. This is a great feature for companies who regularly meet online to present and share information.
- Live stream. Given that Discord is favored by gamers, the streaming feature is a popular perk. By pressing ‘Go live’, users can stream their gameplay to up to 50 friends.
- Bot integration. Bots are computer programs that run automated tasks. They can be added to servers by admins and have a wide range of impressive functions. Medalbot is one such example that is popular on Discord; it allows users to record live gameplay clips.
- App integration. You can connect popular apps like Twitter, Slack, Twitch, YouTube, and Soundcloud to your Discord profile.
Privacy and safety settings are other important areas to consider when building a chat app. Communication on Discord is not encrypted, so Discord has access to all content sent in chat rooms. However, unlike Skype, nobody’s IP address can be revealed. Popular servers are well-policed, but private conversations are harder to regulate. In its short history, the app has also struggled to deal with the emergence of far-right focused servers.
Now you understand the types of features a popular chat app should possess, you need to focus on assembling a team of professionals to develop your app.
- Project Manager. Co-ordinates the entire app-building project by liaising with different teams, monitoring progress, and budgeting.
- UI/UX Designer. Uses design software and wireframe tools to outline the app’s visual architecture, paying close attention to the interface.
- Android/iOS Developer. Creates the app’s software by writing code. You’ll need to hire two or more developers to make your app compatible with both iOS and Android operating systems.
- QA Engineer. Ensures that the app is fully functional and has no issues. If a problem arises, he/she liaises with the developers and recommends how the app could be improved.
- Marketing Professional. Plans and runs your app’s marketing strategy, utilizing social media and paid ads to promote engagement.
How much does it cost to make an app like Discord?
VoIP apps like Discord, which allow users to make calls over the internet, are notoriously complex and expensive to build.
Discord generated a large (but unspecified) amount of funding from Tencent and Benchmark Capital, two venture capital firms, during the app’s development phase. In its roughly 5-year life, it has now raised $387.2 million in seven rounds of funding. This has enabled the company to continue refining and improving the app, such as increasing the number of users permitted on private video calls.
If you plan to create an app like Discord, an initial outlay in the region of $40-60,000 is required to fund your development team.
The free communication market is hugely popular, with billions of users worldwide. However, to carve out market share your app will have to be truly unique. A negative return on investment (ROI) is likely in most cases.
How to make an app like Discord for free?
Rest assured – you can create a personalized chat app without securing millions of dollars’ worth of funding. Appsgeyer, a free app builder, gives you the chance to build a working Android app within just 5 minutes.
Your app will permit users to send messages, videos, photos, and files to their contacts.
Here’s how to get started:
- Visit the Appsgeyer website.
- Click on the Messenger App template.
- Choose your color theme. This will alter the color of menus, tabs, and controls within your app.
- Select a suitable background image.
- Give your app a name.
- Select a customizable icon.
- Publish your Android app on Google Play and start earning money today.
The Messenger App template supports both channels and groups, so you can organize communities within your app – just like on Discord! And you can also include links to your channels and groups, so new users will automatically be subscribed to them upon downloading the app.
Chat apps are taking the internet by storm – and consumers are always on the lookout for new and trendy messaging platforms. Visit Appsgeyer today and find out if your app could be the next big thing.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s)
Discord is a free messaging platform that allows users to interact via text, video, or voice clips.
1. User profile.
6. Video call.
7. Screen share.
8. Live stream.
9. Bot integration.
10. App integration.
Use Appsgeyer’s Messenger App template to build a chat app for free.