62 votes

Discord to start showing ads for gamers to boost revenue

96 comments

  1. [27]
    semsevfor
    Link
    As long as it isn't invasive, I'm ok with this. But what is the likelihood that that will be the case? Discord has been a great product and I'm all for them having a little ad box somewhere in the...

    As long as it isn't invasive, I'm ok with this. But what is the likelihood that that will be the case?

    Discord has been a great product and I'm all for them having a little ad box somewhere in the corner. But if it starts doing popups or putting ads in channels, that will likely kill discord and it'll be time to find a new vc client

    50 votes
    1. [10]
      VoidSage
      Link Parent
      I have no confidence in discord being able to do noninvasive ads and also respect privacy. Sounds like it’s time to fire up Teamspeak again!

      I have no confidence in discord being able to do noninvasive ads and also respect privacy. Sounds like it’s time to fire up Teamspeak again!

      61 votes
      1. [3]
        Pavouk106
        Link Parent
        My friends and me use Matrix (Element program/app) group chat and conference calls for our gaming sessions. Element works on Android, iOS, Windows and Linux (and likely Mac, but no one from this...

        My friends and me use Matrix (Element program/app) group chat and conference calls for our gaming sessions.

        Element works on Android, iOS, Windows and Linux (and likely Mac, but no one from this gaming group uses Mac) and works even through browser, so we can easily contact each other and set up our sessions while also using it for actual voice chat... Why use something for messages and someother thing for voice chat when you have everything in one package. Also open source software.

        29 votes
        1. [2]
          qwed113
          Link Parent
          How are you liking Matrix so far? I’ve heard mixed reviews that it can be quite buggy and slow to connect (particularly in the iOS app) - but I’m interested in giving it a try.

          How are you liking Matrix so far? I’ve heard mixed reviews that it can be quite buggy and slow to connect (particularly in the iOS app) - but I’m interested in giving it a try.

          2 votes
          1. Pavouk106
            Link Parent
            It is my communication chanel of choice. I'm using Matrix (Element) exclusively for two years. I use it on Android and Linux desktop and my friends use it on their Amdroids and Windows desktops. A...

            It is my communication chanel of choice. I'm using Matrix (Element) exclusively for two years. I use it on Android and Linux desktop and my friends use it on their Amdroids and Windows desktops. A few people I know use it on iPhone as well.

            If I'm honest, it is very user-unfriendly to set up. I mean you pick your username, password, you click on link in your email and you are done... Not so fast! If you want to really be done, you should also set up secure backup (or how that is called in English) and cross-signing. If you forget your password and you didn't have this set up, you lose your decryption leys and that means losing the history of your conversations. You also have to let your friends know your Matrix handle (@username:matrix.org) as that is how they will find you (if you opted to not add phone number or get found by email). So far for set up for you and your friends...

            Now for the bugs - Element on Android has built-in chceck if notifications are working. It will check settings of the app in the phone and will send notification for you to see. This process works everytime! But even when this works I had a few people who didn't get notifications in real communications. It kinda resolved itself in past year (either phone updates or app updates). One of them still don't receive notifications though... Notifications in group chat work differently it would seem. I didin't figure it out, but it seems you get notification of first message and then nothing until you come into thechat and read everything that got posted. But sometimes every message sent by anybody ends up in notification for you...

            These are the biggest cons, really.

            But I see pros and they are much more important for me. It is open source and not owned by one single behemoth (like ie. Meta). While I didn't check the code I strongly believe the communication is really encrypted on your device and is not watched over or read by third parties, not even automatically scraped. If you really wanted, you could run your very own Matrix server and then you can be certain your communication is yours only. Other advantageis that you don't need phone number to set it up, you can also run one username on many devices (be it phones, tablets, PCs) unlike other programs. Combination of not needing phone number and being able to run on PC solves things like distant video calls with family - you don't need Zoom or Teams or whatever as you can do videocalls with your webcam through Element. You can of course do video from phone to desktop (one side uses phone app, the other desktop program). When we play multiplayer with friends, we used to do Steam voice chat, but since it was choppy almost everytime, we switched to Matrix conference call (just hit audio call in group chat) and ther we go.

            I use it to contact family and friends exclusively, but it also has groups like IIRC where you can take a part and chat with people on various subjects. I have seen a few projcts where you can join such Matrix group. I don't use this functionality though. I mean I use group chats, but only in private way.

            Summary: It has it's own quirks but if they don't really bother you, it is great alternative to big apps owned by big companies where you have to abide to what they want and what they allow you. You have to do that with Element too, of course, but being open source there is much bigger incentive to make it right fro the user and not for the company.

            7 votes
      2. [5]
        JCPhoenix
        Link Parent
        My friends and I never gave up Teamspeak! I'm on it right now with some of them. But we do also maintain a Discord for chat, livestreaming, and staying connected with others who aren't on TS as...

        My friends and I never gave up Teamspeak! I'm on it right now with some of them. But we do also maintain a Discord for chat, livestreaming, and staying connected with others who aren't on TS as frequently.

        I know Teamspeak 5 has Discord-like chat features, but we've never tried it as a group. Mainly because all of us are on Discord already; no point in reinventing the wheel. Too bad TS 5 was so late to the party.

        9 votes
        1. [4]
          lou
          Link Parent
          What are you guys playing?

          What are you guys playing?

          2 votes
          1. [3]
            JCPhoenix
            Link Parent
            We played Planetside 2 for many, many years. Which is how we all met. With PS2, at least back then, Teamspeak was the preferred external voice comms used by outfits (guilds/clans). It wasn't...

            We played Planetside 2 for many, many years. Which is how we all met. With PS2, at least back then, Teamspeak was the preferred external voice comms used by outfits (guilds/clans). It wasn't unusual to jump in other group's TS to coordinate and talk.

            But we stopped playing Planetside 2 regularly a couple years ago. So we just play whatever. Some people have been playing Helldivers, a couple of us are are playing Rimworld with a multiplayer mod. I think one of the Battlefield games has been in the rotation lately?

            8 votes
            1. [2]
              ThrowdoBaggins
              Link Parent
              Oh maybe that’s where I recognise your name from! I haven’t played PS2 in ages, originally on Briggs before it got shut down and now I’m on Connery, I think? Not to derail the conversation (but...

              Oh maybe that’s where I recognise your name from! I haven’t played PS2 in ages, originally on Briggs before it got shut down and now I’m on Connery, I think? Not to derail the conversation (but I’m absolutely derailing the conversation) but which server and faction do/did you mostly play?

              And back on topic, yeah lots of the guilds used TS I think because it had the smallest resource footprint, which was important as PS2 has never really been the most optimised/polished game…

              1 vote
              1. JCPhoenix
                Link Parent
                I played like 99% of the time as Vanu on Jaeger/Waterson/Emerald. Some of the groups I was in: Blackjack Torture Club [BJTC] Vanu Drop Squad [VDRS/SSGO] Da Pahty Poopahs [DaPP] Rogue 7 [R7] Amadan...

                I played like 99% of the time as Vanu on Jaeger/Waterson/Emerald. Some of the groups I was in:

                • Blackjack Torture Club [BJTC]
                • Vanu Drop Squad [VDRS/SSGO]
                • Da Pahty Poopahs [DaPP]
                • Rogue 7 [R7]
                • Amadan [AMDN]

                That last one is the name of our current group, even though we get on Planetside like once a year.

                I think I have a character on Connery, but rarely touched it. And I'm not sure my name on Connery is the same; thought I used something else.

      3. tachyon
        Link Parent
        Discord doesn't respect privacy.

        also respect privacy

        Discord doesn't respect privacy.

        1 vote
    2. [7]
      Blakdragon
      Link Parent
      They aren't really traditional ads. I heard about these "quests" a while ago, and that's the same thing this article is talking about. I do pay for discord because it's a great service that I use...

      They aren't really traditional ads. I heard about these "quests" a while ago, and that's the same thing this article is talking about.

      Discord in March announced plans to launch the new ads, which it calls Sponsored Quests, and they will become part of the platform beginning in the coming week.

      To earn rewards, users must stream themselves, completing an in-game task from the advertiser while at least one friend is watching. Users who watch their friends can then set off on quests of their own.

      I do pay for discord because it's a great service that I use every day for a lot of things. I really hope it doesn't fall prey to enshitification. This particular type of ad doesn't seem like it follows that trend, but I suppose time will tell.

      26 votes
      1. [3]
        LukeZaz
        Link Parent
        It's loaded down with VC debt, so it absolutely will. I'd bet money on it scarcely even looking the same, given six or so years.

        I really hope it doesn't fall prey to enshitification.

        It's loaded down with VC debt, so it absolutely will. I'd bet money on it scarcely even looking the same, given six or so years.

        32 votes
        1. [2]
          stu2b50
          Link Parent
          VCs don't loan companies money, that's why there's a C in VC. They buy equity in early stage startups (as opposed to mature companies, which private equity invests in). Usually minority stakes....

          VCs don't loan companies money, that's why there's a C in VC. They buy equity in early stage startups (as opposed to mature companies, which private equity invests in). Usually minority stakes.

          VCs actually have almost no power; that's why they're considered such risky bets. There's no lack of tech startups that blow up, and the VCs are just out of the money they put in. In fact, that's most companies VCs invest in.

          They have no real method to force companies to do anything. They're just in on the ride, once they put the money in.

          13 votes
          1. redbearsam
            Link Parent
            They kiiiiiind of do though. If you rely on vc funding, you rely on repeated rounds of it. VC perception is in significant part dependent on the views of existing investors, so you sort of have to...

            They kiiiiiind of do though. If you rely on vc funding, you rely on repeated rounds of it. VC perception is in significant part dependent on the views of existing investors, so you sort of have to keep them happy to get that positive word of mouth.

            23 votes
      2. zod000
        Link Parent
        Wow, those "quest ads" sound horrific to me. Maybe I'm just out of touch with the general user base.

        Wow, those "quest ads" sound horrific to me. Maybe I'm just out of touch with the general user base.

        10 votes
      3. MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        That actually sounds kind of interesting? It could easily go bad, but at least it's different.

        That actually sounds kind of interesting? It could easily go bad, but at least it's different.

        6 votes
      4. tachyon
        Link Parent
        The process is already happening. It'll ramp up when Discord finally nails a date for its IPO.

        I really hope it doesn't fall prey to enshitification.

        The process is already happening. It'll ramp up when Discord finally nails a date for its IPO.

        2 votes
    3. [4]
      lou
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      IDK. I may be wrong but I think gamers on Discord probably make for a particularly ad averse audience. Maybe that's a good moment for a competitior to chime in.

      IDK. I may be wrong but I think gamers on Discord probably make for a particularly ad averse audience. Maybe that's a good moment for a competitior to chime in.

      9 votes
      1. [3]
        stu2b50
        Link Parent
        Why would they be particularly ad adverse? Lots of gaming related services and industries are ad funded. How would this competitor be funded instead?

        Why would they be particularly ad adverse? Lots of gaming related services and industries are ad funded.

        How would this competitor be funded instead?

        5 votes
        1. [2]
          lou
          Link Parent
          I expect Discord gamers to play on PC. While many PC game have absurdly predatory monetization, it is usually integrated and presented within games in a way that is different from "interruption...

          I expect Discord gamers to play on PC. While many PC game have absurdly predatory monetization, it is usually integrated and presented within games in a way that is different from "interruption based advertising" that is traditionally employed in other platforms.

          Discord already have monetization, so I expect these to be regular intrusive ads for things other than Discord - - a "Words from our sponsor" kinda thing.

          4 votes
          1. puhtahtoe
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Both Xbox and PlayStation support joining Discord calls now. From what I can tell, Discord has essentially captured the market for cross platform voice and text chat among those 20s and younger....

            Both Xbox and PlayStation support joining Discord calls now. From what I can tell, Discord has essentially captured the market for cross platform voice and text chat among those 20s and younger.

            There seem to be a lot in that group that feel entitled to Discord at no cost. Every time Discord adds a new feature to Nitro people complain, saying that such a "basic" feature shouldn't be locked behind a paywall. I've seen this for everything from UI themes to larger file size share limits.

            There's also the running joke on the Discord subreddit that people complain about this then turn around and say "why bother buying Nitro when it doesn't actually give much in return"

            3 votes
    4. [5]
      jujubunicorn
      Link Parent
      Discord has been a great product? Idk me and most my friends feel like it's only gotten worse over time with feature creep and baffling UI decisions.

      Discord has been a great product? Idk me and most my friends feel like it's only gotten worse over time with feature creep and baffling UI decisions.

      4 votes
      1. [3]
        semsevfor
        Link Parent
        I've definitely had issues with some of the mobile options, but nothing else I've experienced has been bad. What are you referring to specifically?

        I've definitely had issues with some of the mobile options, but nothing else I've experienced has been bad.

        What are you referring to specifically?

        5 votes
        1. [2]
          jujubunicorn
          Link Parent
          Mostly the mobile app is what I'm talking about. And all the nitro features it constantly tries to push. I may be just more jaded when it comes to it.

          Mostly the mobile app is what I'm talking about. And all the nitro features it constantly tries to push. I may be just more jaded when it comes to it.

          1. semsevfor
            Link Parent
            I don't use the mobile app a ton, mostly just for messaging a couple people. I mainly use the desktop client which I haven't ha dmuch issue with

            I don't use the mobile app a ton, mostly just for messaging a couple people. I mainly use the desktop client which I haven't ha dmuch issue with

            2 votes
      2. thefilmslayer
        Link Parent
        Their support system is honestly a joke, too. It's gotten worse the more popular Discord has gotten. I had my account stolen by a hacker and after fighting Discord's tech support for months to try...

        Their support system is honestly a joke, too. It's gotten worse the more popular Discord has gotten. I had my account stolen by a hacker and after fighting Discord's tech support for months to try and get it back, I had to simply give up and make a new account.

        3 votes
  2. [10]
    kfwyre
    Link
    Archive link

    Archive link

    Social-media startup Discord plans to start showing advertisements on its free platform in the coming week after long dismissing them, becoming the latest tech company to turn to ads to try to boost revenue.

    The paid promotions are from videogame makers and will offer users gifts for completing in-game tasks while their friends watch on Discord.

    18 votes
    1. [2]
      ewintr
      Link Parent
      According to Wikipedia Discord is eight years old already. At that point you are not a startup, but just a company with a shitty business model.

      Social-media startup Discord

      According to Wikipedia Discord is eight years old already. At that point you are not a startup, but just a company with a shitty business model.

      37 votes
      1. vektor
        Link Parent
        ...once you stop growing rapidly?

        ...once you stop growing rapidly?

        5 votes
    2. [7]
      ChingShih
      Link Parent
      This seems like an innocuous enough type of targeted advertising that a lot of people won't be bothered by it. It's disappointing to see, but that's the direction these things go. The article also...

      This seems like an innocuous enough type of targeted advertising that a lot of people won't be bothered by it. It's disappointing to see, but that's the direction these things go.

      The article also says:

      Discord said users will be able to turn off the ads in their settings.

      I don't like the direction this is going, but for now having the option to turn off ads is a good thing. I wouldn't be opposed to a situation where paying for a cheap Nitro tier removed ads, though I don't really like that fad either (Amazon Video I'm looking at you). Incidentally I'm probably one of the users responsible for this because I use discord a lot and yet I don't pay for the privilege.

      14 votes
      1. LukeZaz
        Link Parent
        Unfortunately, "for now" is the key, here. Guarantee you in a few years that option will be gone. Nah. Even if 90% of users paid for Nitro, they'd still be stuck on the infinite growth train as a...

        Unfortunately, "for now" is the key, here. Guarantee you in a few years that option will be gone.

        Incidentally I'm probably one of the users responsible for this because I use discord a lot and yet I don't pay for the privilege.

        Nah. Even if 90% of users paid for Nitro, they'd still be stuck on the infinite growth train as a result of all the investor money. This stuff never works.

        20 votes
      2. Eji1700
        Link Parent
        I think the "pay to remove ads" thing is perfectly fine for services with ongoing costs. At the bare minimum you need server time to keep something like discord up and running, and if you want new...

        I wouldn't be opposed to a situation where paying for a cheap Nitro tier removed ads, though I don't really like that fad either (Amazon Video I'm looking at you). Incidentally I'm probably one of the users responsible for this because I use discord a lot and yet I don't pay for the privilege.

        I think the "pay to remove ads" thing is perfectly fine for services with ongoing costs. At the bare minimum you need server time to keep something like discord up and running, and if you want new features (or more importantly, for it to stay compatible) that costs dev time.

        These models need a sustainable revenue stream, and i'm more than happy to pay for that, yes even as a subscription, because this is a case where it makes sense. I'd rather see that than many of the scummier alternatives, and of course the fear is they're probably just going to do both.

        18 votes
      3. [4]
        JCPhoenix
        Link Parent
        I'm like one of two people in my group of about 10 friends who pays for Nitro. I use Discord a lot, so I think it's worth it. Plus I like have lots of reaction emojis at my disposal. I'm not even...

        I'm like one of two people in my group of about 10 friends who pays for Nitro. I use Discord a lot, so I think it's worth it. Plus I like have lots of reaction emojis at my disposal. I'm not even kidding, that's probably the main reason I pay.

        There is Nitro Basic, which in the US is only a few bucks a month. So theoretically they could make both Nitro and Nitro Basic into ad-free experiences. Or maybe Basic is limited-ads, while the full Nitro has none.

        I actually wonder if Nitro users will see ads during at the start. I sure hope not.

        7 votes
        1. stu2b50
          Link Parent
          It may be on the server level instead. Server's already have levels, which get progressively more features. One of those, maybe level 3, would just also have ad-free. This way, you can peer...

          It may be on the server level instead. Server's already have levels, which get progressively more features. One of those, maybe level 3, would just also have ad-free. This way, you can peer pressure people with more money into spending more.

          6 votes
        2. [2]
          ChingShih
          Link Parent
          Nitro Basic came to mind, and maybe that would work. I'd certainly be interested in paying $2.99 for the service at large, but $9.99 is too much. @stu2b50 mentioned here a really good idea about...

          Nitro Basic came to mind, and maybe that would work. I'd certainly be interested in paying $2.99 for the service at large, but $9.99 is too much.

          @stu2b50 mentioned here a really good idea about using server boosts as the qualifier for turning off ads on a per-server basis. I like that idea a lot and it's in keeping with the types of add-on features servers get for being boosted n amount.

          That said, I don't think Discord would do that. Discord should be targeting their powerusers, and wannabe streamers, with this kind of targeted advertising. It seems perfectly crafted for the kinds of people who pay $9.99/mo. already and are looking for daily activities and new in-game content to keep their users engaged. Even if it's as simple as "today I'm streaming the latest M4 skin from the Apex-Cooler Master promo - go click that ad in your Discord after watching my review." That's exactly the kind of monetization that season passes from Fortnite and CoD et al. have been priming people for in real life.

          3 votes
          1. tomf
            Link Parent
            i don’t know what it is about $2.99/m, but nearly every site and service i use could suck me into paying at this price point.

            i don’t know what it is about $2.99/m, but nearly every site and service i use could suck me into paying at this price point.

            3 votes
  3. [32]
    EmperorPenguin
    Link
    Well this really puts me in a bind... Once there's ads, there's no way I'm daily driving this for group chats. But I don't really know where else to go? What other chat Is cross platform across...

    Well this really puts me in a bind... Once there's ads, there's no way I'm daily driving this for group chats. But I don't really know where else to go? What other chat

    1. Is cross platform across Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
    2. Lets you have dedicated channels for different topics, so different conversations aren't interrupted by each other
    3. Lets you have different level of permissions for different people
    4. Isn't super obscure and will cause groans from everyone I ask to switch to it
    5. Isn't owned by Meta
    6. Doesn't already have ads
    13 votes
    1. [17]
      stu2b50
      Link Parent
      How would a theoretical product which satisfies these requirements pay for their own continual development and costs?

      How would a theoretical product which satisfies these requirements pay for their own continual development and costs?

      21 votes
      1. [12]
        TumblingTurquoise
        Link Parent
        I'm not a Discord user, but don't they already sell some subscription type of thing? The first google result shows me that they had a revenue of 440 million dollars in 2022. This doesn't strike me...

        I'm not a Discord user, but don't they already sell some subscription type of thing? The first google result shows me that they had a revenue of 440 million dollars in 2022. This doesn't strike me as a company hurting for money, but as another corporation expanding too much and becoming greedy.

        15 votes
        1. [3]
          creesch
          Link Parent
          Revenue isn't the same as profit, though, it simply is the money that comes in before expenses. Running and maintaining the infrastructure of voice chat used by apparently millions of people is...

          Revenue isn't the same as profit, though, it simply is the money that comes in before expenses. Running and maintaining the infrastructure of voice chat used by apparently millions of people is expensive.

          The biggest problem in general is the fourth point raised by @EmperorPenguin imho. As a lot of people want something that is free. So you are quickly looking at a model where paying people are subsidizing the usage of those people who use the service for free.

          There are probably ways to come up with such a model that is sustainable. But those also would see Discord grow less fast as they would introduce friction. Like only offering voice chat for people that did pay or on servers where enough members have donated for the free users in it to upgrade.

          Which basically was how we did it in the past. Guilds/clans would have fundraisers for teamspeak/mumble/ventrillo server hosting costs.

          18 votes
          1. [2]
            Oslypsis
            Link Parent
            "Discord’s profit in 2023 was $70 million, which means its profit has increased by 188% per year." https://www.enterpriseappstoday.com/stats/discord-statistics.html Took a bit of digging to find...

            "Discord’s profit in 2023 was $70 million, which means its profit has increased by 188% per year."

            https://www.enterpriseappstoday.com/stats/discord-statistics.html

            Took a bit of digging to find this, but they're doing okay for themselves.

            6 votes
            1. creesch
              Link Parent
              That website isn't a reliable source in the slightest. From what I can tell it is a low effort aggregation of all random numbers they could scrape about Discord. There are multiple figures on that...

              That website isn't a reliable source in the slightest. From what I can tell it is a low effort aggregation of all random numbers they could scrape about Discord. There are multiple figures on that page that highly contradict each other.

              10 votes
        2. [8]
          stu2b50
          Link Parent
          They have a subscription, but it doesn’t really provide all that much, so there isn’t an incentive to pay for it. With 600 employees according to google, 440m wouldn’t even cover their payroll,...

          They have a subscription, but it doesn’t really provide all that much, so there isn’t an incentive to pay for it. With 600 employees according to google, 440m wouldn’t even cover their payroll, let alone their server costs. They’re almost certainly deeply in the red.

          7 votes
          1. [7]
            Comment deleted by author
            Link Parent
            1. [2]
              creesch
              Link Parent
              Even if it does cover payroll, that leaves very little room for infrastructure in general. The greater point is that 440 million revenue does seem a lot until you deduct all the operational costs.

              Even if it does cover payroll, that leaves very little room for infrastructure in general. The greater point is that 440 million revenue does seem a lot until you deduct all the operational costs.

              8 votes
              1. devilized
                Link Parent
                Not to mention, they're running on public cloud infra (seems to be across both AWS and GCP). Cloud infrastructure at their scale with enterprise-grade resiliency like multi-region deployments is...

                Not to mention, they're running on public cloud infra (seems to be across both AWS and GCP). Cloud infrastructure at their scale with enterprise-grade resiliency like multi-region deployments is very, very expensive.

                6 votes
            2. [4]
              stu2b50
              Link Parent
              Discord mostly hire senior and above engineers, and with benefits, they're usually at $1m per person, for the kind of engineer Discord hires. Averaging down a bit to add in non-technical staff,...

              Discord mostly hire senior and above engineers, and with benefits, they're usually at $1m per person, for the kind of engineer Discord hires. Averaging down a bit to add in non-technical staff, like HR, and that sounds at basically about what payroll is.

              7 votes
              1. [3]
                Khalos
                Link Parent
                This is off by a fairly substantial amount, looking at their own job postings, all of the senior technical positions are listed as $190,000 to $204,000 + equity + benefits. Even at the high end,...

                This is off by a fairly substantial amount, looking at their own job postings, all of the senior technical positions are listed as $190,000 to $204,000 + equity + benefits.

                Even at the high end, it's unlikely regular individual contributors would be getting 5x in equity + benefits of their base salary.

                https://discord.com/jobs/7288234002
                https://discord.com/jobs/7196383002
                https://discord.com/jobs/7215889002
                https://discord.com/jobs/7162371002
                https://discord.com/jobs/7104449002

                That's not to say Discord staff aren't highly paid, they surely are, but very few people there would be making $1M. Even their highest position I could find, "Head of Machine Learning & AI" position is $373,000 to $448,000 + equity + benefits, and that appears to be a very senior position.

                22 votes
                1. [2]
                  stu2b50
                  Link Parent
                  We’re not talking about how much they’re making, we’re talking about how much they cost. Your salary is just one part of your cost as an employee - healthcare, employer taxes, and more. Did you...

                  We’re not talking about how much they’re making, we’re talking about how much they cost. Your salary is just one part of your cost as an employee - healthcare, employer taxes, and more. Did you know SF applies a gross receipt (that is, net revenue, not profit) tax per employee that works within the city bounds?

                  The actual cost is well above 2x their salary, especially for an SF based company.

                  10 votes
                  1. MimicSquid
                    Link Parent
                    I'd like to see some sourcing for your claim here. The SF gross receipts tax is never greater than 1%, and also that's not a salary cost. The overhead payroll/employer tax costs for an employee...

                    I'd like to see some sourcing for your claim here.

                    • The SF gross receipts tax is never greater than 1%, and also that's not a salary cost.
                    • The overhead payroll/employer tax costs for an employee above their salary but before benefits is roughly 15% in California.
                    • Employer contributions to 401ks are generally capped at 5% of salary.
                    • Healthcare in SF even on a very expensive plan is rarely more than $1k a month, or less than 10% of the salary of these employees, maybe 20% if it also covers a spouse.

                    That's 40% above salary. It's entirely possible that Discord is offering additional benefits greater than 60-80% of their employee's salaries, but I'm going to leave it to you to provide proof of your "well above 2x their salary" claim.

                    21 votes
          2. BusAlderaan
            Link Parent
            I'm not sure what math you're using, but 420 million is more than enough to cover their payroll, even if everyone was making 200k a year, which they most certainly are not. As for their...

            I'm not sure what math you're using, but 420 million is more than enough to cover their payroll, even if everyone was making 200k a year, which they most certainly are not. As for their infrastructure, I imagine it's a couple hundred mill a year, but there's no way to know for sure. 420 million for a company of their size, offering what they're offering, is sizable.

            6 votes
      2. [2]
        Eji1700
        Link Parent
        As other people have already gone into what a real issue this is, something I'd like to start seeing is a "pay for X users" subscription or something. I want to use discord, i want my...

        As other people have already gone into what a real issue this is, something I'd like to start seeing is a "pay for X users" subscription or something.

        I want to use discord, i want my buddies/family/etc to use discord. I have the funds to afford it, so i'll get some bulk subscription that gives them all the ability to use it. It allows those who are more willing/able to pay to help subsidize for those who want to use the service but may not be able to easily afford the costs, and helps keep the whole point of the service (most people are using it).

        It's really not that different from an enterprise license for most software, but I think businesses are going to need to start being more creative if they really want to last. Of course that itself is a question given there's very much a "ok we spent the last X years in the red and expanding, time to squeeze every dime from this before shuttering" lifecycle.

        12 votes
        1. stu2b50
          Link Parent
          You wouldn't have to build out very far what's already on Discord for that. There's already the concept of "nitroboosting" servers. So, say, a free server with >X people will have ads. Then, you...

          You wouldn't have to build out very far what's already on Discord for that. There's already the concept of "nitroboosting" servers. So, say, a free server with >X people will have ads. Then, you can "nitrboost" (e.g, pay money) to get rid of them for the server. With how it works currently, that could be an individual (just you, in that hypothetical) or a group effort from the server.

          Not having a free tier at all is a non-starter, but premium+ to avoid ads is fairly standard.

          6 votes
      3. [2]
        em-dash
        Link Parent
        Stop doing continual development once the thing is feature complete, and build it in a way that doesn't cost a ridiculous amount of money to run. Discord thoroughly failed at both of these, and...

        Stop doing continual development once the thing is feature complete, and build it in a way that doesn't cost a ridiculous amount of money to run.

        Discord thoroughly failed at both of these, and that's why they need so much money.

        11 votes
        1. RobotOverlord525
          Link Parent
          Yeah, I'm failing to think of any features that Discord currently lacks that I would like to see based on how I use it. Everything they seem to be adding is all useless fluff, as far as I'm concerned.

          Yeah, I'm failing to think of any features that Discord currently lacks that I would like to see based on how I use it. Everything they seem to be adding is all useless fluff, as far as I'm concerned.

          2 votes
    2. Protected
      Link Parent
      You're really going to have to compromise on this one, since it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Discord isn't obscure because everyone is currently there, and everything else is super obscure by...

      Isn't super obscure and will cause groans

      You're really going to have to compromise on this one, since it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Discord isn't obscure because everyone is currently there, and everything else is super obscure by comparison because people are elsewhere (on Discord).

      For better or for worse, Matrix with the Element client is the federated Discord-like. Rooms are supported. Discord's role system is missing (though there are permissions) - I consider this a massive mistake. "Servers" are split into homeservers (which you can self-host or even run out of your client), which are not conceptually isolated from each other, and spaces, which conceptually aggregate people and rooms. Encryption is built in. It can run out of a web browser, so it's cross platform. Federated data exchange can take some time under certain circumstances (first joining a large room from a remote homeserver). Voice and video rooms exist but they're far from as good or stable as Discord's in my experience.

      16 votes
    3. [2]
      ChingShih
      Link Parent
      Guilded is the obvious answer, but as other people have pointed out there is a conflict between your requirements. If people want to be on the popular service, then they're going to get treated...

      Guilded is the obvious answer, but as other people have pointed out there is a conflict between your requirements. If people want to be on the popular service, then they're going to get treated like users of popular services until they demand better treatment (in general).

      Guilded is in that "chicken and egg" situation. Until it gets more popular it won't be popular enough to be a real competitor to Discord. In many respects it's better than Discord, but people simply haven't heard of it (or don't use spreadsheets while gaming enough to warrant it ;) ). Wikipedia describes the software thusly:

      Guilded is a VoIP, instant messaging and digital distribution platform designed by Guilded Inc. and owned by Roblox Corporation. Guilded is based in San Francisco. Users communicate with voice calls, video calls, text messaging, media and files in private chats or as part of communities called "guilds". Guilded was founded by Eli Brown, a former Facebook and Xbox employee.

      5 votes
      1. RheingoldRiver
        Link Parent
        TIL Guilded is run by Roblox, and with that piece of information I hope to never touch it. Absolutely no way you're supporting something better by using Guilded than you would be by using Discord.

        TIL Guilded is run by Roblox, and with that piece of information I hope to never touch it. Absolutely no way you're supporting something better by using Guilded than you would be by using Discord.

        20 votes
    4. creesch
      Link Parent
      Your fourth point is always going to be an issue. Depending on your needs though there are various options. If you aren't looking for many advanced voice features and you mainly use it with a...

      Your fourth point is always going to be an issue. Depending on your needs though there are various options.

      If you aren't looking for many advanced voice features and you mainly use it with a specific group of people you can look at selfhosting things like mattermost or rocket.chat. Both are fairly easy to use and have apps available on all platforms.

      Btw, both are available on PikaPods which I have lately been using to self host some stuff.

      These are likely less suitable for voice calls, specifically for gaming. Though they both do support it I believe.

      "Free" to use but a bit more clunky (imho) is already mentioned in the form of Matrix.org. You can host your own matrix server instance, but you don't need to.

      3 votes
    5. stu2b50
      Link Parent
      Now that I thought about it more, you could always use the paid version of slack. It would only cost $7.25/month/person. For a 12 person group chat, that'd only be $90/month!

      Now that I thought about it more, you could always use the paid version of slack. It would only cost $7.25/month/person. For a 12 person group chat, that'd only be $90/month!

      2 votes
    6. [2]
      Pavouk106
      Link Parent
      Have a look at Matrix.org. It fullfills 1, 2, 4 (Element app on phones and Element program on desktops, also available through browser), 5, 6. I don't really know much about permissions as we have...

      Have a look at Matrix.org. It fullfills 1, 2, 4 (Element app on phones and Element program on desktops, also available through browser), 5, 6.

      I don't really know much about permissions as we have small group of trustworthy people, so I don't care if just one or everyone has the same permissions in groups.

      1 vote
      1. creesch
        Link Parent
        I don't think Matrix does check all the boxes quite as nicely. It certainly doesn't cover the fourth one as people are not familiar with it so they will groan. It also isn't as friendly and...

        I don't think Matrix does check all the boxes quite as nicely. It certainly doesn't cover the fourth one as people are not familiar with it so they will groan. It also isn't as friendly and straightforward as discord is. It has come a long way, but in many ways it is still a bit clunky.

        It most certainly does lack the easy setup of a server on discord. “Spaces” do seem to cover that niche. But as far as I can tell, there is no way to have invite links for spaces. Just found a way to do so.

        Having said all that, I do think that for a bunch of use cases people have for Discord it can be a viable alternative.

        3 votes
    7. [2]
      LukeZaz
      Link Parent
      I'm throwing it out there for those interested and others who may know more about it (please do chime in!) but one option I remember coming across is Revolt. I haven't looked into it, though, so...

      I'm throwing it out there for those interested and others who may know more about it (please do chime in!) but one option I remember coming across is Revolt. I haven't looked into it, though, so if there's a deal-breaker hidden somewhere I wouldn't know it. All I know so far is that – at least for now – it appears to be donation-funded, as well as being open-source and talking a big game on privacy.

      Definitely falls short on #4 on your list, but as others have said, that's rather inevitable, really.

      1. Crimson
        Link Parent
        If I remember correctly Revolt lacks voice chat, or at least easy to use voice chat. In fairness though, everything besides Discord lacks easy to use voice chat.

        If I remember correctly Revolt lacks voice chat, or at least easy to use voice chat. In fairness though, everything besides Discord lacks easy to use voice chat.

        1 vote
    8. Bonooru
      Link Parent
      Signal sounds like it ticks all of these boxes?

      Signal sounds like it ticks all of these boxes?

    9. [4]
      tachyon
      Link Parent
      Internet Relay Chat Internet Relay Chat Internet Relay Chat Internet Relay Chat It's not obscure; it's been around for decades. How to pitch this? It's plain text. You really don't need more than...

      Is cross platform across Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android

      Internet Relay Chat

      Lets you have dedicated channels for different topics, so different conversations aren't interrupted by each other

      Internet Relay Chat

      Lets you have different level of permissions for different people

      Internet Relay Chat

      Isn't super obscure and will cause groans from everyone I ask to switch to it

      Internet Relay Chat

      It's not obscure; it's been around for decades.

      How to pitch this? It's plain text. You really don't need more than that.

      Discord, like most social media, is built to be addictive. Weaning off it will be a challenge, like quitting cigarettes, but the long-term effects will trump the temporary pain.

      Isn't owned by Meta

      Internet Relay Chat

      Doesn't already have ads

      Internet Relay Chat


      IRC is not without growing pains and requires a little more work to set up, but it's worth it.

      But what about voice chat?

      Mumble or TeamSpeak.

      But what about livestreaming

      Use Jitsi or Twitch or Zoom.

      But what about rendering gifs and pictures and videos and tweets?

      Some IRC clients can do that for you.

      1. [3]
        nosewings
        Link Parent
        If you need more than plain text, Matrix does exist.

        If you need more than plain text, Matrix does exist.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          tachyon
          Link Parent
          Why? IRC is enough.

          Why? IRC is enough.

          1. nosewings
            Link Parent
            I'm sorry to say that, if you tell anyone under the age of (generously) 30 that they could be happy with just plain text, they'll give you blank stares.

            I'm sorry to say that, if you tell anyone under the age of (generously) 30 that they could be happy with just plain text, they'll give you blank stares.

            3 votes
  4. [11]
    Glissy
    Link
    Good lord I hate Discord and its rise. I'm probably too old for it to really appreciate it but it feels like so much of the internet that should just be a forum or an IRC channel like the old days...

    Good lord I hate Discord and its rise.

    I'm probably too old for it to really appreciate it but it feels like so much of the internet that should just be a forum or an IRC channel like the old days is now a Discord server and it comes with so many annoyances. The app doesn't even save settings if you log out!

    I know it's cheap and (relatively) easy for small projects to set up as their primary support/comms platform but... I just cannot get along with it and I also see so much important information being conveyed there that will never be indexed by search engines. Those days of finding a solution to your problem on a somehow still online early 2000s forum are gone in the Discord age.

    11 votes
    1. [5]
      DeaconBlue
      Link Parent
      I don’t follow this It contradicts your statement before that an IRC channel would fit. I was in many, many an IRC channel in the day but I feel like Discord hits exactly the same niche. An IRC...

      I don’t follow this

      important information being conveyed there that will never be indexed by search engines.

      It contradicts your statement before that an IRC channel would fit. I was in many, many an IRC channel in the day but I feel like Discord hits exactly the same niche. An IRC channel would never be indexed either.

      7 votes
      1. [4]
        Glissy
        Link Parent
        No, I hoped that my mention of forums made that clear. I know IRC isn't indexed, that's why IRC was a chat service much like Discord. The product support, the project discussion etc went in...

        No, I hoped that my mention of forums made that clear.

        I know IRC isn't indexed, that's why IRC was a chat service much like Discord. The product support, the project discussion etc went in forums.

        Discord combines the two, it even tries to be a Wiki which... is great if you're on the server/have an invite/otherwise blessed with the knowledge of it even existing but you'll never find it via a search engine.

        It is being used by all manner of things as a replacement for vBulletin/phpbb and I know forums are seen as old internet and dead but we do have this issue where a lot of communities are as good as hidden as a result.

        8 votes
        1. [3]
          SteeeveTheSteve
          Link Parent
          I wouldn't call them dead, we're on one right now. :) Edit: redit is a forum too.

          I wouldn't call them dead, we're on one right now. :)
          Edit: redit is a forum too.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            babypuncher
            Link Parent
            Reddit is what really killed old school bulletin boards. Having all your communities in one place is too convenient.

            Reddit is what really killed old school bulletin boards. Having all your communities in one place is too convenient.

            3 votes
            1. tachyon
              Link Parent
              Plenty of old-school forums are still active. The downside is the extra work needed to find them.

              Reddit is what really killed old school bulletin boards.

              Plenty of old-school forums are still active. The downside is the extra work needed to find them.

              1 vote
    2. [4]
      thefilmslayer
      Link Parent
      I'm intensely annoyed by the new trend of "join my Discord". It seems like everyone I follow everywhere is doing this, and I don't feel like joining 57 different servers just to keep up with people.

      I'm intensely annoyed by the new trend of "join my Discord". It seems like everyone I follow everywhere is doing this, and I don't feel like joining 57 different servers just to keep up with people.

      6 votes
      1. Glissy
        Link Parent
        I'm really pushing back against it, people keep asking me why I don't just get along with it but I've never seen such an anti-user service... well, maybe some but I just cannot understand why this...

        I'm really pushing back against it, people keep asking me why I don't just get along with it but I've never seen such an anti-user service... well, maybe some but I just cannot understand why this even got to this level of popularity.

        2 votes
      2. [2]
        tachyon
        Link Parent
        It's the fastest and easiest way for someone to "build a community." There's also a mental angle at play: Some people enjoy playing the role of a leader in a burgeoning cult, built around...

        I'm intensely annoyed by the new trend of "join my Discord".

        It's the fastest and easiest way for someone to "build a community." There's also a mental angle at play: Some people enjoy playing the role of a leader in a burgeoning cult, built around real-time text and audio chat, of their own making.

        2 votes
        1. thefilmslayer
          Link Parent
          A lot of them seem like cults of personality, yeah.

          A lot of them seem like cults of personality, yeah.

    3. Nijuu
      Link Parent
      Was wondering why I've been seeing less and less large forums over the years . I loved them.

      Was wondering why I've been seeing less and less large forums over the years . I loved them.

      2 votes
  5. [9]
    akselmo
    Link
    Awful app getting worse? Surprise... Using Discord makes me really frustrated every time I have to interact with it. I hope eventually they break it so bad nobody wants to use it.

    Awful app getting worse? Surprise... Using Discord makes me really frustrated every time I have to interact with it. I hope eventually they break it so bad nobody wants to use it.

    10 votes
    1. [8]
      Protected
      Link Parent
      Out of curiosity, what frustrates you about Discord? I mostly like the way it works, compared to alternatives.

      Out of curiosity, what frustrates you about Discord? I mostly like the way it works, compared to alternatives.

      12 votes
      1. [2]
        akselmo
        Link Parent
        It's full of ads. I get "buy nitro" spam quite often. It's distracting, annoying, etc. Everything is animated and bouncy and I find it super distracting. Yes, I have disabled animations but...

        It's full of ads. I get "buy nitro" spam quite often. It's distracting, annoying, etc.

        Everything is animated and bouncy and I find it super distracting. Yes, I have disabled animations but sometimes things still seep through.

        All kinds of annoying colorful bullshit everywhere: "super reactions," avatar borders (who the hell buys these), etc. I can tone down the saturation but it makes the whole app gray, which is not useful either.

        The group list sidebar is not very useful if you have more than 5 groups. It's a mess.

        On top of that, everyone and their grandma uses discord now for various projects and some people expect bugs to be reported through discord. What the hell happened to forums???

        In general it's hell for my ADHD brain and I hate it.

        7 votes
        1. Protected
          Link Parent
          I agree that there's a bunch of annoying cruft on top of Discord's core (very solid) product. I have some measure of control over the servers I use for the most part, and I do my best to disable...

          I agree that there's a bunch of annoying cruft on top of Discord's core (very solid) product. I have some measure of control over the servers I use for the most part, and I do my best to disable or discourage all that stuff.

          On the other hand, I think that people using Discord for things they shouldn't be using it for isn't the product's fault. It's a separate issue.

          1 vote
      2. [5]
        Glissy
        Link Parent
        I can't speak for that person but my primary, #1 annoyance beyond all the spam trying to make me pay for something I will never pay for (it's just fancy IRC) is this: You log out and your settings...

        I can't speak for that person but my primary, #1 annoyance beyond all the spam trying to make me pay for something I will never pay for (it's just fancy IRC) is this:

        You log out and your settings are lost. The app saves nothing. I don't stay logged in to chat services, it just isn't how I have ever done it, I dip in and out of stuff like that.

        5 votes
        1. [4]
          BusAlderaan
          Link Parent
          "All the spam" Can you elaborate? I use discord every day and sometimes see a single pop up when I launch.

          "All the spam"

          Can you elaborate? I use discord every day and sometimes see a single pop up when I launch.

          5 votes
          1. Glissy
            Link Parent
            I use it for minutes at a time I find it so annoying - yet some communities I am part of insist on using it instead of a forum - and it is relentlessly popping crap up asking me to pay for 'Nitro'...

            I use it for minutes at a time I find it so annoying - yet some communities I am part of insist on using it instead of a forum - and it is relentlessly popping crap up asking me to pay for 'Nitro'

            Just no.

            5 votes
          2. [2]
            felixworks
            Link Parent
            This might be related. I open Discord roughly once a week, and it does seem like there is a popup everytime. Maybe there's logic like "don't show this popup more than once a week". So from your...

            I use discord every day

            This might be related. I open Discord roughly once a week, and it does seem like there is a popup everytime. Maybe there's logic like "don't show this popup more than once a week". So from your perspective, you only see it once in a while. But more casual users see it every time. Just guessing.

            2 votes
            1. Oslypsis
              Link Parent
              Idk what it is about Discord, but whenever I open the desktop app, it has some update to install that requires me to permit it (with an admin password) to install a helper. Every single time.

              Idk what it is about Discord, but whenever I open the desktop app, it has some update to install that requires me to permit it (with an admin password) to install a helper. Every single time.

              2 votes
  6. [3]
    Carrow
    Link
    I was wondering if nitro folks would have ads, but this sounds like anyone can turn them off? Hm I wonder how this will play out then.

    Discord said users will be able to turn off the ads in their settings.

    I was wondering if nitro folks would have ads, but this sounds like anyone can turn them off? Hm I wonder how this will play out then.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Nijuu
      Link Parent
      Well considering people pay for Nitro... Would have thought no ads automatically. Free users would have to turn it off in settings. New users would assume Ads showing is as per norm unless told...

      Well considering people pay for Nitro... Would have thought no ads automatically. Free users would have to turn it off in settings. New users would assume Ads showing is as per norm unless told they can turn them off..?

      1 vote
      1. tachyon
        Link Parent
        Discord could mimic Netflix/Hulu by adding a slightly more expensive tier of Nitro to remove ads.

        Discord could mimic Netflix/Hulu by adding a slightly more expensive tier of Nitro to remove ads.

  7. [3]
    kjw
    (edited )
    Link
    Speaking of online gaming, I'd like to mention a nice group of people playing FOSS games (mostly, but not always) weekly. We organize on chat and during the game we use Mumble for voice...

    Speaking of online gaming, I'd like to mention a nice group of people playing FOSS games (mostly, but not always) weekly. We organize on chat and during the game we use Mumble for voice conversations.
    The chat is on irc, but is bridged with Jabber/Xmpp and Matrix. Feel free to join in: https://wiki.f-hub.org/books/chat-network/page/gateways-for-xmpp-and-matrix
    edit:
    forgot to addlink to the onFOSS gaming group: https://onfoss.org/

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      tachyon
      Link Parent
      Any other networks you'd recommend?

      Any other networks you'd recommend?

      1. kjw
        Link Parent
        I'd definitely recommend searching for a local hackerspace or people who want to create one. I did both and we have a pretty nice group of 15 people atm, we rent some space from municipality, meet...

        I'd definitely recommend searching for a local hackerspace or people who want to create one. I did both and we have a pretty nice group of 15 people atm, we rent some space from municipality, meet regurarly and are becoming an actual group of friends.

  8. tech10
    Link
    can't wait for skype to go back in the mainstream

    can't wait for skype to go back in the mainstream