Game chat app Discord has announced a number of changes coming to the platform starting October 17, including an app directory and the return of in-app activities like gaming and watching movies. According to Discord, 30 percent of active servers are already using apps for their communities.
“We cook all kinds of things to prepare [Discord] easier for developers, admins, communities and all users to improve and customize our platform,” the blog reads.
The platform previously attempted to integrate a game launcher feature in 2020, but dropped the initiative after the tool failed to gain user acceptance.
All users get access to two activities, each focused on in-app golf and watching YouTube videos together. Members of the paid service Discord Nitro get additional activities (e.g. poker and chess) and invite non-Nitro members to play, similar to that jack box games.
Multiple activities can also run simultaneously on the same voice channel, and Discord added that it invites studios and game developers to create future activities.
Discord is also making a change to Nitro with a second “Basic” tier rolling out on October 20th. Priced at $3 per month, Nitro Basic allows users to use animated custom emojis across their various servers and use larger file uploads for videos and GIFs up to 50MB. Additional activities are tied to the regular Nitro tier, which costs $10/month.
Last month, Discord announced it would launch dedicated forum channels for servers.
Through the App Directory, server mods can implement third-party apps for news or upcoming releases (like a Netflix-themed activity). Discord has previously hinted at the feature’s inclusion in late 2021, and these apps can now be used without installing them through a third-party site.
With a renewed focus on apps, Discord introduces premium app subscriptions alongside the directory. Premium subscriptions allow developers to use Discord natively to sell premium features of their apps, although this feature is currently only available to a small group of developers.
“We want our platform to be a place for developers to express their creativity, and that includes app developers looking to make money.”