Discord’s chat platform will reportedly begin testing a number of new features, including forums, new mod tools, and homepages that surface hot topics in some of its largest communities’ servers.
According to TechCrunch, the social audio and chat platform began by connecting gamers for online play, but it has since grown into one of the most important 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.
The company understands that as the number of servers increases, things can become unwieldy. At any given time, hundreds of thousands of people are online in some of Discord’s most popular communities.
A Discord server is similar to a real-time subreddit, except that instead of people dipping in and out of the conversation, a large number of people are chatting live at the same time.
This works well for smaller communities, and it’s easy to stay on top of the conversation, but as those servers scale up – sometimes dramatically – a lot gets lost in the mix.
The first new feature provides servers with a forum-like channel that serves as a hub for “more organised conversations.” The idea is that people can dip in and out of these special channels asynchronously without missing out, just like they can on Reddit.
Aside from forums, Discord will trial a new homepage-style feature that collects hot topics, providing a tl;dr-style snapshot of timely content that is relevant on that server at any given time.
According to the report, many servers currently use dedicated news channels to accomplish something similar, but those spaces aren’t very dynamic and often don’t offer much beyond highlighting major announcements.
Discord is testing new automated tools for moderation that bring some of the functionality that communities get with third-party mod tools in-house.
While the company did not provide many details, some of the most popular Discord mod bots automate the process of welcoming new users, scanning for bad behaviour, and even kicking people out if they violate the rules.