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Discord, Amarcord flavor: what it is and how it works the “chat” of gamers and Gen Z

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What Discord is and how it works, the gamers’ platform that does not yet know that it is a social media for everyone: users, brands and marketing initiatives, between eSports and Generation Z.

.Welcome to Discord, the Generation Z social network that recalls the thematic message boards of the Nineties.

And even if rapper Drake begs for advice from a Fortnite champion during online gameplay , it’s not that difficult for me to justify the more than 300 million users reached since 2014 .


What is Discord?

It is not a platform, it is not a social network: Discord only knows what it is not.

The experts tried to reveal its unknown nature and to come to our aid by baptizing the application the ‘Skype for gamers’ . Nomea, the giargiana of the sector forgive me, a tad reductive.

What is certain is that we are faced with an application for free communication that can be used from any device , be it desktop or mobile .

The force runs strong in Discord, far beyond the VoIP service.

On the other hand, there are no doubts about the type of users who virtually flock to Discord : the gamers .

The application itself is the result of a flip-flop gamer, Jason Citron , who complained during a match that he was unable to manage game tactics in real time on multiplayer titles. He needed an intuitive, user-friendly and easy-to-use interface during online matches – in short, he needed Discord.

And while today the application already hosts 300 million euphoric voices, Jason Citron continues to dress in humility and slippers, certainly a little more comfortable.

How does Discord work?

Discord is a Generation Z creature .

Its only fil rouge with the boomers is the nostalgic soul typical of the 90s chatrooms , which inspired the web-app both for the creation of its graphic layout and for the philosophy of the club it carries.

Moreover, it is no coincidence that today Discord is consolidated as the best virtual approximation of the ancient concept of chat .

How does Discord work?

Users are gathered around groups, called servers .

Within the servers it is possible to talk during online matches via VoIP or via text messages, exchange files of considerable size, assign specific roles to members through special tags and moderate the conversations of the affiliated sub-channels.

Each server is an ecosystem in itself, a global village of gamers in particular and teenagers in general.

Although gamers (still) clearly represent the largest slice of Discord, to date the servers are increasingly varied and heterogeneous: from school DAD to music, passing to dating , the application is gradually consolidating as a container of themes. Generation Z warmths.

A little like the Cioè, but without Marco Lafrate’s photo novels.

Here too, historical courses and appeals, since the existing servers can be either open access or closed .

If the server is open, tana frees everyone: one click is enough to access it .

To join a closed server, however, the same rules apply as for Clubhouse and you must receive an invitation .

Furthermore, Discord gives its users the ability to create a personal server from scratch . The founder will decide whether to open it to all users or to invite a selected circle.

And it’s immediately: ‘Alexa, play All by Myself – Celine Dion’.

Staying on the subject, if you’ve been hanging out on Discord for a while, you’ve already noticed two small badges next to the server names. I’ll make it easier for you: I’m referring to the blue logo in the shape of an infinity and the small check in green.

The blue badge indicates servers that are part of the Discord Partner program .

The participating servers are those with the best communities in circulation , as they are of quality and with greater involvement. Server partners are a real inspiration for fledgling communities who want to stand out from the crowd.

Requirements are required to join the Partner Program , which fortunately are well listed on the official Discord website.

What about the green badge ?

These are verified servers , those managed by companies, brands and public figures. A verified badge is equivalent to the good old blue check on Instagram: you see it and you already know that you are in front of an ‘official’ server.

Obviously, the Company, the Brand or the public interest figure who requests the verification of their server must enjoy authenticity, originality and recognition, as well as boasting a very strong following.

Also in this case, the requirements  are well explained by Discord and, without any surprise, they do not differ at all from those required by other social platforms.

Discord users and numbers

Yes, we are still in the lucrative world of console influencers , but the sphere has changed: it has become more intimate, far from the bullseye we are used to on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok .

In a world dictated by the number of likes, followers and comments, Discord distorts the rules of the game and creates a channel of maxi dimensions, but with (deliberately) mini visibility.

In short, Discord belongs to the category of ‘new social networks’, the modern heir to Facebook and Instagram.

Since 2021, the platform has enabled interactions between over 300 million users around the world, distributed across 6.7 million active servers: we are talking about 4 billion minutes of conversations and 850 million messages sent every day.

Brands on Discord

On Discord you find interesting, useful, understandable things for Generation Z. And that’s it.

The interesting, useful and understandable things above are divided by Discord into heterogeneous clusters , specifically gaming , music , education , tech and entertainment .

But be careful, because the five categories of the platform are not equally populated: once again the gaming and tech sector conquer the podium , just like on Twitch .

After all, the community of the platform is mainly composed of gamers , the tech savvy par excellence, who on Discord have created servers dedicated to their passions.

For example, Discord users are very knowledgeable in terms of telephony , so much so that they have started servers on Apple, Xiaomi and Google Pixel products , devices that are also excellent for supporting the platform’s mobile app .

The console brands are not neglected : for example, there is an open battle between the communities that prefer the Playstation and the Nintendo loyalists .

The servers born from the community have one goal, which is to grow in quantity and quality.

Not surprisingly, the hubs are organized within them in hierarchical structures and inviolable netiquette , under penalty of death. No joke, under penalty of expulsion from the server.

But what will these fans have to say to each other ? They chat, give each other advice and update on the latest trends of the brand , they help each other. Every so often, the owners share the best moments of the group and start branded give-aways to entice all members.

Not just fans : on Discord there are also servers managed by real- life brands , indeed, in codes and pixels .

These are brands that, aware of being able to satisfy the demands of gamers , have decided to preside over Discord to reach the audience of the very young , to the detriment of all those competitors who still hang out (only) on social networks.

Which brands are we talking about?

We are faced with real giants of the market, famous and known even by those who, after all, do not know video games.

In the gaming sector there is no shortage of the most famous video game titles ( Minecraft , Rocket League , Fortnite , Fifa and Assassin’s Creed ) and computer-gaming accessories , such as Corsair, Razer, Steelseries .

Finally, a quick look at the tech world : thanks to Opera  and Linux we touch the hard world of programming.

The intent of the brands is to make the subscriber feel important and unique , beyond the mere role of buyer.

The launch of preview products, exclusive gifts for members and in-depth video interviews are just some of the tricks that Realities use to obtain benefits both in terms of awareness and (obviously) of turnover.

Discord & Security: couple goals

Security, half beauty.

According to Jason Citron’s young padawans , Discord is a safe and flawless application .

In terms of privacy , the web app does not leave the side open to possible remote attacks thanks to the enabling of Context Isolation , an intelligent feature that isolates the data inside the application from scripts on your device .

Also, to avoid becoming a hate propagation tool, Discord moved 15% of employees to a dedicated content control team and shut down servers considered dangerous .

Now Discord is crowded with students, singers, artists and content creators who are open to dialogue and peacemakers , eager to hold hands together and go around dancing kumbaya .

Outside the Nazis, inside the boy scouts .

Discord Nitro

To customize your profile in a unique way and to access exclusive benefits, Discord offers Nitro .

Discord Nitro is a subscription, on a monthly or annual basis, which offers subscribers some pluses mainly of an aesthetic nature, of enhancement of services and with a focus on chat management .

What are the advantages over the free version ?

Discord Nitro gives all subscribers immediate recognition by other subscribers thanks to personalized tags and emojis, giving glimpses of authority through special badges next to the username.

In particular, it is gamers and streamers who enjoy the most substantial pluses , such as the possibility of improving the quality of video screen sharing, enhancing the servers they own and enabling their profile to upload files up to 100MB.

This undergrowth represents a true level up for content creators , whether they are gamers , influencers or high-traffic server leaders .

The goal is always the same: to make quality personal branding while having fun.

When the going gets tough, Microsoft starts playing

Microsoft, which has tried unsuccessfully in the past to grab TikTok and Pinterest, is now on the hunt for a social platform again.

Indiscreet rumors whisper that Discord is the object of desire, to which Microsoft has already made an offer of a few coins, equal to 10 billion dollars. We are facing a marriage of interest: Microsoft is clearly looking at Discord’s dowry, and it has a good reason for it.

In fact, it’s not the first promenade that Microsoft and Discord have attended .

Synergies have already occurred in the past: do you remember the promotion launched by Xbox Game Pass Ultimate , which allowed members to get three months of subscription to Discord Nitro for free?

Not surprisingly, it is precisely on the front of the remodeling of the gaming activity that a bright future for Microsoft, made up of subscriptions and services, would appear.

Kind of like Twitch’s demise once it got absorbed by Amazon Game .

The acquisition of Discord would mark a landslide victory for the Xbox ecosystem and its Network services, which would become more open and attractive than those of competitors .

Moreover, Microsoft has never made any secret of its desire to offer the Xbox community an experience similar to that offered by Discord, made up of servers, thematic channels and simultaneous gameplay .

Finally, Microsoft would get a top player within its Azure enterprise cloud , with all due respect to Google Cloud services.

The acquisition of a platform as populous as Discord would in fact involve the migration of its subscribers from Google Cloud to Azure, Microsoft’s corporate cloud.

For its part, the web-app does not give up, but continues to be courted by other suitors and very noble bachelors: only true love can lead Discord to marriage, which is why it will (probably) be listed on the stock exchange .

Discord vs Twitch: What Do Generation Z Prefer?

Both Discord and Twitch were designed by gamers for gamers.

Compared to Discord, Twitch entered the Market three years earlier: since 2011, the streaming platform currently owned by Amazon allows fans and gamers to participate in the gameplay sessions of their favorite streamers .

Upon the arrival of Discord, Twitch had its work cut out and was forced to add new features to catch up with the young rival.

Despite the efforts, the blow has been made (and still is) felt, as evidenced by the tripled registrations on Discord.

Many features in common, just as many differences.

The Market seems too small for two such similar applications, so much so that I can’t help but wonder: what does Generation Z prefer between Discord and Twitch?

If you want to satisfy your desire for sociability , Discord is undoubtedly the way to go.

Designed as a hub, Discord keeps you updated on the activities of your friends in other channels, thanks to a chat with a usable interface and the possibility of (video) voice calls on any device .

In short, Discord was built to be more than just a client for gamers.

With Discord, however, you cannot make money, unlike Twitch which promises “easy money” thanks to live streams. 

Twitch allows you to monetize the streams of game sessions in real time : the more populous your audience , the greater the final compensation.

Too bad that voice and text communication is only enabled from desktop and browser, a nice minus that makes Twitch a limiting platform for mobile gamers .

In summary, Discord aims to be the communicative hub of gaming activities, while Twitch is the main means of making money.

For their part, gamers have opted for a textbook fifty-fifty : using Twitch and Discord in harmony allows them to get the best of both worlds .

Discord marketing (?)

Discord is the algorithm-free and privacy -conscious future .

The application represents an important turning point for the Internet we know, its free from version : absence of invasive advertising, data tapped by users without their consent and content that is not in line with their interests .

Come to think of it, Discord does not differ so much from the dawn of the first online forums where chats, which were private and divided by topics, allowed the exchange of short text messages while playing online.

It almost seems to speak of the application’s private servers, where unknown and very young voices flock to talk about common passions.

Discord is also the future of digital marketing, but only if you think Generation Z is your target audience .

For example, one of the pluses that the platform offers is the ability to customize and choose members within your own server.

This setting, so selective and targeted, allows you to implement quality strategies, able to provide the Discord community with real added value: private sales reserved for members only, launch of a new channel accompanied by discounts for first registrations, coordination of exclusive events that revolve around the world of eSports .

Finally, even when you are asked to decide which tool to use for customer care , Discord again lends itself to being the most obvious choice: it is on Discord that all consumers (specifically, gamers ) are there, and it is always on Discord that a direct comparison is feasible.

Potentially, the platform guarantees quality customer service thanks to a close, informal and quick dialogue with customers.

Yes, Discord is the hero that digital marketing deserves, but is it really what it needs now?


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