Throwback Features Removed From Discord
Discord has come a long way since its release in 2015. It’s now one of the most popular chat apps available, with millions of users worldwide. However, not everything has been Smooth sailing for the app.
If you’ve been an avid user of Discord for quite some time, you may recall the various changes that developers have made to the platform over time. Discord still looks quite the same as it did in its early days, but functionally there have been strides made in adding new features and improving the user experience.
While Discord servers have always been the core of the platform, a good example of an important new feature has been the support for third-party bots, which can provide a vast variety of automated tasks for users. They can even offer features themselves. Some music bots allow users to have music play via popular streaming services (YouTube, Soundcloud, etc.) in voice channels for users to enjoy mutually. For more information, read more here.
It may seem like Discord has only added more and more to its program over time, however that hasn’t always necessarily been the case. In fact, there have been many different features and aspects of Discord that have been removed from the app since its release.
Today, we’re gonna dive into the various features that Discord has scrapped over time, and talk a bit about why they chose to do so.
The Universal Game Launcher
The Universal Game Launcher had originally been added to Discord as an effort by developers to make Discord a universal gaming application that someone could rely on. The premise is nice: without needing to navigate another menu or application, you could access your game library and start-up whichever game you happen to be in the mood for.
However, I think I speak for many players when I say that the feature went relatively under-utilized. Most people that I know don’t really find much benefit in universal game launching interfaces in programs, as most PC users can just use their desktop to access their most-played games.
Early in 2020, the developers of Discord announced that they’d be removing the universal game launcher in an effort to reduce bulk from their application that they’ve deemed not relevant to the core features that they aim to offer. Since then, there has been a small population of players that have requested they bring it back, but for the most part, the removal of it has gone relatively unacknowledged by the community, a testament to its unpopularity.
The Digital Storefront
Another feature that Discord removed was its digital storefront. Unlike their post about the universal game launcher, developers shelved this feature quietly. If you bought a game from there, however, the Library tab (also removed) will remain so that you can still access it easily.
The Discord digital storefront was a service that allowed developers to sell their games directly to Discord users. The store showed off various games that were available for purchase, and when clicked would take you to the game’s page where you could learn more about it before buying.
The store had been in a closed beta for some time before it was taken offline, but the main problem with this service wasn’t its functionality; rather, it was that the platform hadn’t seen enough activity to make it worth staying up.
Developers said that because there wasn’t a large number of games being sold through the storefront, they decided to give users what they wanted and focus more on the core features of Discord. In the same fashion, the decision wasn’t particularly contested, since developers of games hadn’t been taking advantage of it and the user base was generally uninterested.
These two removals signify a potential shift in Discord’s overall purpose. While the original target audience has been gaming communities, the rapid growth in popularity has extended into non-gaming communities, so it’s no surprise that these features weren’t beneficial for this new population of users.
The Activity Feed
The Activity Feed feature of Discord is another topic of discussion by the developers as one that could eventually be scrapped and for good reason. Considering that the primary use of Discord is to hang out on servers with friends, opening Discord to see updates for a game you played once 8 months ago could be considered quite irrelevant.
Whether or not these changes have particularly impacted your experience of using the program is relatively unlikely, and in many ways, the added features that they’ve implemented over time have made a larger splash than the ones they’ve taken away. A good example of this is the new structure of how Discord Nitro works (and what it offers), as well as third-party developer support for the creation of Discord bots that liven up and automize moderation of servers.
The Future of Discord
Discord has been constantly changing and growing since its creation, and it’s hard to say what the future holds for the program. As more and more people find uses for it in their everyday lives, it’s likely that we’ll see more significant changes come to the platform. For now, we can all be content in the fact that Discord is here to stay and that it’s likely only going to get better from here on out.
One thing that is certain is that Discord is likely to continue focusing on improving its core features, like text and voice chat. It’s also possible that we may see some new features come along, perhaps focused on video or other media formats.
Whatever changes are in store for the future of Discord, one thing is clear: it will continue to be a central part of online communication and community building for years to come. Whether you’re a gamer, a developer, or anyone in between, Discord is sure to have something for everyone.
Are there any features that come to mind that you’ve found particularly needless for your usage? Or perhaps there are features you wish could be added to enhance your user experience? Let us know in the comments!