Chat platform Discord will reportedly start testing a handful of new features including forums, new mod tools and homepages that surface hot topics in some servers in some of its biggest communities. The social audio and chat platform got its start connecting gamers for online play, but it has grown into one of the main ways to build a thriving online community, complete with custom emoji, live events, topic channels and a whole suite of third-party plugins that can do everything else, reports TechCrunch.
The company recognises that as servers grow, things can get unwieldy. At any given time, some of Discord’s most popular communities have hundreds of thousands of people online simultaneously. A Discord server is a kind of like a real-time subreddit, but instead of people dipping in and out of the conversation, a ton of people are chatting live, all at once.
For smaller communities, this works well and it’s easy to stay on top of the conversation, but as those servers scale up – sometimes really, really up – a lot gets lost in the mix.
The first new feature gives servers a forum-like channel as a hub for “more organised conversations”. The idea is that people could dip in and out of these special channels asynchronously and not miss out, the same way they might on Reddit.
It is also a way to surface older content that’s still relevant and loop people into an ongoing thread, letting conversation topics develop over time, the report said.
Apart from forums, Discord will test a new homepage-style feature that collects hot topics, offering a tl;dr-style snapshot of timely content that’s relevant on that server at any given moment.
Right now, many servers use dedicated news channels to pull off something kind of similar, but those spaces aren’t very dynamic and often don’t offer a lot beyond highlighting major announcements, as per the report.
On the moderation side, Discord is testing new automated tools that bring some of the functionality communities to get with third-party mod tools in-house.
While the company didn’t disclose much in the way of specifics, some of the most popular Discord mod bots automate the process of welcoming new users, scan for bad behaviour and even kick people out when they break the rules.