Discord messaging app: not just for gamers

If you’re even a moderate gaming enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of Discord, a messaging app that prides itself on nearly instant voice chat and the ability to communicate via text and instant messaging. If you don’t gamble, you probably think “Discord, what?”

While the completely free app has somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 million users, it is somehow virtually unknown in the non-gambling community. And that’s a bit of a shame because in terms of free voice / video / SMS software, group collaboration tools, and ease of use, it’s hard to beat. Even under the paid messaging software, it can withstand even all the big boys.

Head over to the Discord website and you have the option to chat directly over the internet, or you can download a desktop app for machines running Windows 7 and above, or MacOS 10.10 (Yosemite) and above, or Linux. Alternatively, you can download the mobile apps for iOS 10.0 and higher from the Apple App Store or for Android 5 (Lollipop) and higher from the Google Play Store.

Once that is accomplished, you will be prompted to create a “server”, which is Discord’s name for a chat room. You can start from scratch or choose a template from categories such as Gaming, Friends, or Study Group. After that, you will be asked for your email address and a password if you want to access your various servers and the chats they contain, even after closing the app.

Next comes the fun part: chatting. To do this on your own server, you need to add or invite friends, which you can do with their individual “DiscordTags” (read: usernames). Simple navigation buttons on the left allow you to create a new server, explore public servers, or download apps that connect to Discord.

Choosing to explore public servers will definitely give you the impression that Discord is for gamers as the main servers you get are for Minecraft, Fornite and other popular games. But choose from the categories on the left, and you will see how many communities there are to join using Discord. There’s everything from the TruckersFM station in the Music category, which offers music to drive, to a “Stranger Things” server in the Movies & TV category.

Join a server and you will be asked to read its rules, just like logging into a subreddit in Reddit. Follow all instructions and click the “Participate” button at the top of the screen to participate in the promotion. Once you’ve created a server or signed up, you’ll see a list of possible chat threads on the left (called “Channels”), just like you will find in Slack. Click on one and you can start communicating with others belonging to the same server.

You can also track a server to have its notifications sent to your own server.

One of the standout features that sets Discord apart from other collaboration apps like Slack is that you can enter lounges where, if you leave access to your microphone enabled, you can have an ongoing conversation with everyone else on a server. It’s a bit like turning on a CB radio (remember it?) And listening to conversations – and contributing when you want to.

Discord also allows you to message other users for a more private chat. You can also change the permissions for users of your own servers, so you can control what they can see and participate in.

Discord is a lightweight setup that offers an intuitive, eye-catching design and the chance to dive into a range of communities for both business and pleasure. The free version of the app provides pretty much everything you need to connect with friends who are already using the service, or make new friends on the public servers.

Discord’s paid option is called Nitro and costs 9.99 per month or 99.99 for a year. This boosts some features like increasing file upload (yes, you can do that too) from 8MB to 100MB, sharing your screen (that too) or streaming other content at higher resolution, and enjoying some vanity features like animated avatars and emojis and custom Discord tag creation. While those might be nice if you’re an experienced user, we think you’ll be fine to get started with the free version.

Download Discord here.

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Filmy One

The Filmy One team is a group of talented and passionate editors who write about the latest in lifestyle, movies, music, cinema, entertainment, TV, video games, technology and more! With years of experience in the entertainment industry, this team of experts provides insightful, engaging, and informative content for readers looking to stay up-to-date on all things film and entertainment. At Filmy One, the team is dedicated to bringing you the latest news, reviews, and opinions on the latest releases in film, television, music and shopping. Whether you're a movie buff, music lover, or simply enjoy all things entertainment, the Filmy One team has you covered.

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