In 2015, Discord was launched as a way to bring people together around games. In the early days, Discord was initially shaped to be the ideal chat app that we wanted to use when playing Final Fantasy XIV until sunrise.
Fast forward to 2020, Discord has grown from a small project to becoming the de facto place for not just gaming communities, but for tons of unique groups and gatherings around the globe. In this difficult time when staying at home is the safest thing you can do, Discord has started to play a vital role in helping friends and family members stay in contact.
We recently asked the community on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram how they’ve been using Discord lately. There were stories about everything: from staying in touch with friends and family, to keeping track of classwork, all the way to flexing your creative muscles in an art collective. Go Live — something initially designed for video game streaming — was being used to hold virtual yoga sessions and make sure weekly D&D game nights were still going strong. Popcorn with chopsticks not included, sadly.
Discord can be set up how you want it, with organized channels and categories about anything you can think of. Thanks to this flexibility, Cyndie, a parent of two in North Carolina, uses Discord for nearly everything in her family life when not playing Pokemon GO.
“There are four of us and we all have Discord installed on both our computers and phones. Everything gets dropped into that server. From dinner’s ready to internships and job offers. Usually it’s the silly, stupid stuff we just drop in that makes us all laugh, like when there’s a Weird Al question on Jeopardy.”
Whether you’re a family keeping in the loop with your day-to-day plans, an Animal Crossing player hunting for the best turnip prices, or a study group keeping up with assignments, the most important aspect of these communities that connects them all together is the human element — being able to talk to those you care about the most.
“It’s so important to feel connected to our teachers and each other when we are so isolated and in such a difficult class,” says Genavieve, who takes one of the toughest AP courses at her school. “Using Discord brought us closer together as a physics class — we are already a small class of 22 students, so being able to joke around and send memes helps us not feel so alone during the distance learning.”
Content creation has also shifted in the last few months, with many transitioning to working from home. Video sites that rely on having a studio to stay consistent in production quality no longer have access to their sets. For Greg Miller and the team at Kinda Funny, the team’s transition from a studio to solely Discord has been smooth sailing, with their producer Kevin being able to run the show from home, just like he used to at HQ.
Greg explains, “the decision to work from home was simple: we wanted to protect our Kinda Funny family. However, *how* to move an entire YouTube/podcast business with at least two live shows a day was a bit more complicated.”
“Discord was the answer, and I can’t get over how easy it was. Every one of our shows is produced using Discord because of it’s near-zero latency, ease of use, and video quality. I’ve been blown away by the quality of the videos it’s helping us put out.”
All sorts of shows and podcasts can take place on Discord. In addition to the recent releases from Kinda Funny, “Chris Gethard Presents” is a New York-based comedy show that not only live streams every week, but has a home for their comedy community on Discord. Comedunity… communedy…?
Now, before you say “but Discord, my #memes channel IS my comedy venue,” hold up — this works a bit differently than you’d first think.
Bryson, a digital producer who helps run the Discord for Chris Gethard Presents, says on Saturdays, the CGP community runs an Open-Mic night inside their Discord. The open mic can be about anything from a poem to a song, or just a way to make the community laugh.
“The different channels and @mentions make it much easier to keep information straight,” adds Genavieve about Discord in general. “Screenshare makes it even easier, so we can show each other documents or problems we are working on to get feedback or troubleshooting advice.” Hopefully the rest of Genavieve’s classmates are actually paying attention in the middle of schoolwork…
The communities shown above are just a small selection of how expansive the possibilities can be. Because Discord has started to play an important role in helping friends and family members stay in contact, we recently released a new feature called Server Templates. Server Templates allow you to share how you have your own server set up with someone else, making the setup process easy with a single click.
We encourage everyone to create and share any templates that could be helpful for both new and experienced Discord users. Do you think you could set up an ideal yoga community? What about a hiking one? Now that baking bread is suddenly in style, the world could use a baking-centric Discord to compare how their sourdough turned out.
Helping others get a jumpstart on Discord with something like a server template can be the final *click* that someone needs to show them that Discord can be useful for anything and everyone.
“Seriously, Discord is always open on my computer,” added Cyndie. “I can’t imagine life without it.”