Discord is a voiceover IP and messaging program, particularly used by members of the popular game streaming platform, Twitch.
Discord’s user interface looks like a cross between Skype and Slack. It’s completely free to use and is available as a web, mobile, and desktop application.
People use Discord daily to talk about many things, ranging from art projects and family trips to homework and mental health support. It’s a home for communities of any size, but it’s most widely used by small and active groups of people who talk regularly.
The vast majority of servers are private, invite-only spaces for groups of friends and communities to stay in touch and spend time together. There are also larger, more open communities, generally centered around specific topics such as popular games like Minecraft and Fortnite. All conversations are opt-in, so people have total control over who they interact with and what their experience on Discord is.
People love Discord because it’s a home for all their communities and groups of friends. It’s a place where they can be themselves and spend time with other people who share their interests and hobbies. There’s no algorithm deciding what they should see, no endless scrolling, and no news feed. Conversations on Discord are driven by shared interests.
Discord’s popularity has only multiplied in recent years, with the app now reaching over 250 million registered users.
Discord has its own vocabulary. You might hear your teen or students using these words when talking about Discord.
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Server: Servers are the spaces on Discord. They are made by specific communities and friend groups. The vast majority of servers are small and invitation-only. Some larger servers are public. Any user can start a new server for free and invite their friends to it.
Channel: Discord servers are organized into text and voice channels, which are usually dedicated to specific topics and can have different rules.
- In text channels, users can post messages, upload files, and share images for others to see at any time.
- In voice channels, users can connect through a voice or video call in real time, and can share their screen with their friends – we call this Go Live.
DMs and GDMs: Users can send private messages to other users as a direct message (DM), as well as start a voice or video call. Most DMs are one-on-one conversations, but users have the option to invite up to nine others to the conversation to create a private group DM, with a maximum size of ten people. Group DMs are not public and require an invite from someone in the group to join.
Go Live: users can share their screen with other people who are in a server or a DM with them.
Nitro: Nitro is Discord’s premium subscription service. Nitro offers special perks for subscribers, such as the option to customize your Discord Tag, the ability to use custom emotes in every server, a higher file upload cap, and discounted Server Boosts.
Server Boosts: If your teen is a big fan of a community, they might want to boost the community’s server (or their own). Like Nitro, Server Boosts give servers special perks like more custom emotes, better video and voice quality, and the ability to set a custom invite link. Server Boosts can be bought with Nitro or purchased separately.
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