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How to Build an App Like Discord

Discord has 150 million monthly users from K-pop fans to sewing hobbyists to gamers. What makes it so popular and how can you develop an app like Discord?

Introduction

Did you know that Discord has 150 million monthly users? “It’s where your world hangs out” is the motto you’ll see on the eye-catching website. From K-pop fans to sewing hobbyists to gamers, Discord became super popular after the COVID pandemic. Do you ever wonder what made Discord such a massive success in such a short time?

Entrepreneurs often up to apps like Discord because of the waves it made among online communities. The question that comes to mind is how do you build an app like Discord? In this article, we will talk about all the factors related to creating an app like Discord.

What is Discord?

Within a short time since its release, Discord piqued the interest of passionate gamers from across the globe. How do you create something so astounding that it completely transforms the meaning of online communication? Why would one build an app like Discord?

Discord web application is an online platform that supports a diverse community of video game players. It offers text and voice chat for users all around the world. The Discord desktop application is popular among PC players. Plus, it solved a huge issue for many gaming fans- organizing people for online gaming!

History of Discord

It is no surprise that the founders of Discord are gaming enthusiasts. “Openfeint” was the name of the initial version of Discord. After selling the successful gaming platform to a Japanese company for a whopping 104 million dollars, Jason Citron (the founder) set up a studio with Stan Vishnevskiy. The first product of this partnership was Fates Forever, which didn’t make a mark. 

Did you know that Discord’s earliest users came from Reddit gaming communities? The concept behind Discord was connecting gamers through a platform. During the mid- 2010s, there was Skype and  Teamspeak. 

According to the founders, “..the tools we were using to play these games were pretty outdated.” Keeping this issue in mind, the release of Discord took place in 2015. Safe to say, the Discord program was a success in no time. Today, the user base includes music fanatics, software programmers, cryptocurrency enthusiasts, and content creators. 

Facts to Know Before You Build An App Like Discord

How did Discord make big bucks in such a short time? The founders were able to successfully identify its principal users, thus the features fit the user needs perfectly. As a startup founder who wants to achieve something, creating an app like Discord would require some insight and background information. Ready to learn some interesting discord stats and facts?

  • In 2020, Discord generated $130 million in revenue, this was a 188% increase year-on-year. (bloggingx.com)
  • In 2021, Discord’s valuation was at 15 billion dollars. (businessapps.com)
  • The founder, Jason Citron began to work in coding at the age of 17. (howigotjob.com)
  • Discord doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. (famemass.com)
  • More than three-quarters of Discord users say they use it for non-gaming activities. (cloudwards.net)
  • The Discord for the Fortnite game is the biggest Discord server. (largest.org)
  • Discord users in the US spend 280 minutes per month on the Discord chat app. (influencermarketinghub.com)
  • In 2021, Discord was one of the most popular social media networks for teens in the United States. (Statista)
  • An average Discord user in the US spends 9 minutes a day on the platform. (smallbusinessblog)
  • Most of the software revenue of the Discord app comes from its premium subscription Nitro. (cbinsights)

Discord Features 

To build an app like Discord, it is pivotal to analyze and understand what features make it a market winner. Creating an app involves multiple stages, hence learning about the nitty gritty can help in the application-making process. Features such as direct messaging, screen sharing, live streaming, notifications, etc . are already part of the app. Let us discuss some Discord features that set it apart from its competitors. 

Discord video chat

Discord allows 25  people to become part of a video conference, imagine? The best thing about Discord video calls is that you can switch between the screen and the webcam. Plus, the user can do online streaming.

Discord bots

Ever heard of Dank Memer? Or Probot? These are the names of a few top discord bots! These are automated tools that help you to perform a range of functions. As of 2022, there are 64,000 bots available on Discord. A better explanation would be that they are “pre-programmed deputies” that help you to automate various tasks. You can classify bots as:

  • Moderation
  • Social
  • Fun
  • Utilities 
  • Miscellaneous

Discord integrations

Who wouldn’t want to avoid the annoyance of switching tabs? This is where the option of Discord integrations fills the gap. Integrations with other platforms provide a channel for the server to grow. Popular apps such as Twitter and Slack also work with Discord.

Discord security

With bug bounty, Discord rewards users who report vulnerabilities! A particularly interesting fact is that deleted messages have no trace in the Discord system. The user does not have to fuss and fret over privacy issues. PhotoDNA regularly checks photos to ensure there is no compromise in online regulations. There are several Discord security settings:

  • Age-restricted commands
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Email registration only

Threads Discord

In 2021, Discord began rolling out its revolutionary threads feature. Chat threads enable a channel to become more organized. What’s even better is that public and private threads give users the freedom to decide what suits them more. 

Discord Subscriptions

It is no surprise that most of Discord apps’ revenue comes from subscriptions. To build an app like Discord, the founder should plan a monetization model. It’s how your app will bring in profits. Subscriptions help users to unlock a more exciting version of Discord. There is no denying that these versions offer more perks and benefits. 

Nitro basic 

Are you a fan of custom emojis and stickers? If yes, then the Nitro basic version has got you covered. Nitro basic plan has the following features to offer!

  • 300 nitro stickers
  • 50 MB sharing
  • Nitro badge and custom video backgrounds

Nitro Discord

Looking for a premium version that unlocks all the perks you could ever imagine? Nitro has all the features of Nitro basic and much, much more!

  • 500 MB file sharing
  • HD Streaming
  • Join up to 200 servers
  • Longer messages, animated avatar, profile theme

Creating An App Like Discord

Did you know that Discord is rapidly expanding beyond gaming, attracting suitors like Sony and Microsoft? Coming to the topic of making an app like Discord, there needs to be an impeccable level of planning and strategizing. An entrepreneur might have a great idea, but it’s pointless if not executed properly. This section will be a guide that contains all the steps to build an app like Discord.

Research is a must

To optimize the app development process, the founder and tech team have to collect enough information to justify details such as the app design, features, etc. An understanding of the app’s features is crucial when it comes to creating an app like Discord. At this point, it is pivotal to understand customer requirements. This data will play a role in molding the design and nature of the Discord alternative app. Not only this but there are multiple factors to consider. 

  • Understanding Discord: Are you familiar with the workings of Discord, or do you need to find out more?
  • User profile: You need to figure out who you’re targeting as a user, the demographic, and their age group. What kind of devices do they use?
  • App platforms: Will it be an iOS app, an android mobile app, or a hybrid app?
  • Behavioral trends: What app properties appeal to the user, and what layout makes it stand out? The founder should compile a list of competitors after consultation with the tech team. Adding strengths and weaknesses can further improve the analysis.
  • Benefits: Which functionalities and advantages will you offer to the user?
  • Goals: What are the objectives? Moreover, how do you plan to grow the app in the future?
  • Plan of action: How will you divide each phase, and what is the project timeline?

Monetization plan for app-making

How can you expect a business to survive if there is no plan to generate sales? The introduction of Nitro subscription packages in 2017 worked in favor of the company, it became Discord’s primary revenue stream. In the section above, we’ve emphasized the importance of defining customer needs. The next step is to come up with an app monetization model. 

Subscription

Discord subscriptions are all about providing access to content rather than features. Once users get a sneak peek of the content, they can subscribe for more! The subscription packages can be monthly or yearly.

Discord server monetization

The idea behind a server boost is that you can boost the server performance after the payment of an additional fee. Discord offers three levels of server boosts. 

Game distribution

Want to know an innovative way to make money? The Discord messaging app has given a chance to developers to sell their products online. With this method, the Discord mobile application earns commissions. In-app purchases are an excellent channel for app growth.

Sponsorships

This trend is still relatively new, however, it’s becoming very popular amongst social media platforms. Through sponsorships, apps make money by keeping a share of the revenue.

How Much Does it Cost to Build An App Like Discord

Making an app like Discord is a time-taking process that is an amalgamation of phases from initiation of coding to promoting the pap. Therefore, the person in charge should have a proper budget plan. Otherwise, the project can leave a dent in your funding. Therefore, keep these considerations in mind!

  • Cost of designing an app like Discord
  • App maintenance cost, security, and checking for errors
  • Updating the program and making changes
  • Price of hiring software developers or a tech team for building a Discord alternative
  • Making an MVP and launching the app
  • Techstack 

Make an app development team

Your dream team is the asset that will ensure that the app meets your vision. Finding software developers might not be as tough as it seems. Creating an app like Discord requires a dedicated team of software engineers. However, the catch lies in efficiently executing a recruitment strategy. There are multiple channels for your software developer search. 

Social media platforms

How many times a day do you check your phone? There is no denying that social media has become an integral part of our lives, so much so that we are entirely dependent on it. Then why not utilize social media to find the ideal candidate for your tech team? Facebook, LinkedIn, and Git hub are some useful sources where you can find software engineers in your network.

All you have to do is post a detailed software engineer job description and click- that’s it! The next decision would be to shortlist the most suitable developers. The more details, the better the search process. 

Online job boards

Days of fretting over those huge piles of resumes are history now. Why is this? The changes brought about by online hiring platforms have led to a transformation in global hiring trends. 

Virtual job boards such as Gaper connect startups with a diverse pool of software developers from across the globe. You can fill out the online form in no time and add details such as company email, tech stack, software developer roles, etc. The recruiter can even book an online appointment.

Choose a tech stack to build an app like Discord

For an entrepreneur, making chat sites like Discord might sound challenging. However, with the combination of research, a skilled tech team, and an organized approach – the startup founder can minimize the risk of errors. To be well informed about a specific tech stack is mandatory, especially if you want to build an app like Discord. 

Discord front-end

  • React js., Flux, and React Native
  • Kotlin or Java for Android
  • Obj-C language and Swift for iOS apps

Discord back-end

Launch an MVP

What is the last step that you should take before releasing an app? Remember to test it out! A minimum viable product can save a lot of time and money. Plus, it can be a reminder of how the public perceives the product, what can be improved, and the flaws. Also, you can practically weigh the pros and cons of your app monetization model 

The conclusion

The journey has not ended, it has just begun. After you build an app like Discord, there is so much left to do! Social media marketing, advertising, and utilizing the internet – all these activities are methods to keep your app relevant. After all, creating a successful app like Discord is not a joke – it’s serious business and commitment. 

FAQs

  • What is the Discord app built with?

 Discord is an app built using the Electron framework. 

  • How much does it cost to build an app like Discord?

The startup founder should look into several aspects to calculate the total cost of creating an app like Discord. Cost may also vary according to location and the nature of the task- whether it is remote, in-office, etc.

If we only consider the basic features of the Discord chat app, it can cost between 20,000 dollars, to 30,000 dollars to make a mobile app like Discord. 

  • Is Discord an app or a program?

Discord is a chat app that acts as a platform to unite communities with the same interest. It primarily began as a group chatting app for gamers. However, with time, Discord has become quite popular amongst youngsters. 

The pandemic has its role to play in the growth of Discord. Today, Discord supports millions of users with similar interests such as fashion fans, gamers, coders, k-pop, fandoms, and other online communities etc. 

  • What is an app most similar to Discord?

Despite having many competitors like Slack and Element, the app that is most similar to Discord is Telegram. Like Discord, Telegram offers instant chatting and supporting communities. Plus, it is free to use!

  • What makes Discord different from other apps?

Discord offers a range of features, all in one place for the user. This is what makes this chat app stand out. Voice call, video chat, text – all these options are available in one place. Hence, the user does not need to worry about switching tabs. Several other factors make the Discord chat tools ahead of their time.

  • The user can create public or private, even free servers
  • Discord app works on personal computers, laptops, mobiles, gaming consoles, etc.
  • Offers specific features such as Twitch for gamers
  • With so much to offer, it remains free for all users
  • Discord app promotes user-driven activities

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