Discord doubles down on apps to make servers more dynamic • TechCrunch

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discord It updates its popular chat app with a bunch of new features, including one that developers who have been building tools for the platform have wanted for a long time.

The changes aim to make the community building application a More diverse place to hang outWith new ways to customize servers, hundreds of thousands of people regularly gather around their games, hobbies, or even beloved creators.

Discord says that more than a third of its chatroom-like servers use apps, often referred to as bots, already. Applications, which are miniature pieces of automated software that run inside Discord servers, offer utilities such as moderationDigital DJing and basic games. Now, the company offers a complete guide to apps, and uploads the many bots and weird pieces of software that make Discord tick with a proper guide.

The Directory of Apps, which launches on Tuesday, will give server admins a one-stop shop for finding ways to build their server to their liking. There is already an app for just about everything. A sneakerhead server that tracks new releases may connect the StockX DropBot app, while the role-playing community can play a scripted RPG together live by chatting with IdleRPG. On a server dedicated to the Generative Art Robot MidjourneyThree million people are making AI art from text to image (300,000 people were doing it at one time at the time of writing).

In Discord, apps have largely been the domain of pessimistic young developers looking to build useful utilities. But it is clear that the company’s vision of its in-server experiences is moving in a more formal direction that could include more formal partnerships with large, well-established software makers.

Discord will also begin allowing a small group of hand-selected developers to sell subscriptions for premium apps from within the platform. Anyone can choose to pay for premium app features when the app guide is live and developers can sign up for a queue to get their premium perks listed, but testing is somewhat limited at the moment.

The company is also announcing its gaming expansion, introducing “Activities” that bring more mini-games such as virtual golf, chess and poker to servers. While it’s not limited to gaming – a single activity allows users to queue up and watch YouTube videos together – the new feature is designed to provide server members with more ways to hang out and spend time together.

New Discord activities begin this week. All users will have access to Putt Party (virtual knockout) and Watch Together activity by jumping in, while anyone who subscribes to Discord’s Nitro Premium membership can play additional games including poker, a game similar to Pictionary, chess, and a Scrabble version called Letter League. Users who pay for Nitro can invite non-premium members to play the expanded list of games, but non-premium users won’t be able to configure the full range of new games and activities.

In addition to the app-focused changes, Discord is also adding a new entry-level subscription tier for Nitro that will cost less. Nitro Basic will cost $2.99 ​​per month, and offers some basic features for regular users including custom emojis, large file uploads, and a profile badge. The new tier was already available to some users in the UK but will launch globally on October 20.

“The new Nitro plan is ideal for people who use Discord to hang out with friends who aren’t necessarily gamers,” Peter Seles, Vice President of Discord Product, said in a call. “They will be able to experience some of Nitro’s best features, but they don’t need some of the more powerful perks like HD streaming, uploading very large files, or accessing more activities.”

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