In this digital age, mobile phones are mandatory devices that nearly everyone uses to run various social media applications that help us connect with the entire world.
After the massive influence of Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp, the world has seen countless applications specifically designed for messaging and content creation. This is where Discord comes into play, as the platform is slowly becoming the favorite among Gen Z for its easy sharing and communication capabilities.
Around 59.3 percent of the people in the world are active users of social media applications such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and WeChat, where they can engage with their friends and family irrespective of distances between them. Discord has been a powerful addition to these types of applications, and has gradually shaped into a platform that stands out at the top.
In this article, we will discuss the amazing features of Discord, and how you, too, can build an app like Discord and expand your business to new heights. Keep reading this post to understand the proper steps to build and own an app like Discord yourself.
What You’ll Learn In This Post
- What is Discord?
- Relationship between Discord and gaming
- Market overview of platforms like Discord
- Popular features that make Discord stand out
- Easy steps to build your own Discord-like app
- Marketing considerations
- How to monetize a messaging app like Discord
What Is Discord?
Launched in 2015 by Jason Citron, Discord is a messaging application that has become one of the most used applications on the market following a huge increase in user count in 2017 and 2018. It is especially popular among streamers, gamers, content creators, and young people.
However, the platform is also equally used by businesses and professionals due to its many unique features, including the ability to create servers and channels, which make communication easy, transparent and decluttered.
Discord’s Relationship With Gaming
While Discord isn’t just for games, the gaming community has had the most impact among any other communities with the rise in popularity of this application.
This is likely because Discord allows background operation so that when people are engaged in their gaming activities, the communication channel remains active in the background for users to share voice, perform streaming, and interact with friends and fan base.
As per the report from The Drum, after partnerships with big online multiplayer games such as Fortnite and Rocket League in 2017, Discord’s user base increased massively, causing its message traffic to rise from 6 billion to 15 billion within a year.
Discord Market Overview
In 2021, Discord saw a growth of almost 100 million users compared to 2019, when it was only used by 56 million people. Currently, the messaging platform has more than 150 million users who use it for communication, gaming, and work purposes.
Discord is now valued at around $15 billion after gaining significant popularity in recent years. Valued at around $7 billion in 2020, the platform became such a big name in a short span of time that they even turned down a massive acquisition offer of about $12 billion from Microsoft the next year. The application projected a staggering 188 percent increase in revenue per year in 2020.
The primary revenue model for Discord is from its subscriptions for server boosts and larger file uploads, known as Discord Nitro, alongside integration with gaming franchises.
Popular Features of Discord
There are many features in Discord that make it stand out among other messaging platforms. Although the main goal of the application is to provide a communication platform, Discord uniquely does this by providing something extra, centered especially around the gaming community. Before you start out to build an app like Discord, let’s take a look at the best features of Discord that engages its user base.
Discord users can invite each other to a party mode that creates a communication server to play their favorite games and relay their tactics easily, while also having fun. This makes multiplayer gaming simpler than ever before, and has contributed to securing Discord as a fan favorite among gamers.
Discord silently runs in the background as you play games on your system. However, you can enable the game overlay feature, which lets you quickly switch between Discord and your game while playing. Gamers and streamers can also look at messages and converse with their friends and fans, pin certain chats within the game as they play, and even receive notifications about messages. Streaming becomes more interactive with this feature, as gamers can play and interact with their fans and friends at the same time.
Discord allows you to configure your camera and microphone for high-resolution video calls where you can screen share and interact with other users. While this is just like any other messaging app, Discord prioritizes gaming bandwidth, making sure no quality drop is faced in gaming or the calls.
Go Live and Screen Share
Discord has an easy-to-use streaming feature where you can go live and share your screen with your friends. This feature, which can support up to 50 concurrent viewers at a time, is useful for interactive sessions and troubleshooting in businesses. It can also be fruitful as an e-learning module for students.
4 Steps to Build a Messaging App Like Discord
Since you now have a clear understanding of messaging apps like Discord, as well as their key features, user base, and prospects, it’s only natural if you, too, are excited about the potential this industry holds.
While it’s not going to be easy to compete with Discord or Snapchat right away, you can put your focus on your own share of the market and try to come up with an app like Discord that aims to make communication easier in a particular way. If done right, there’s no reason you can’t have an application that is loved by users worldwide. Let’s take a look at how you can get started with doing so.
1. Determine Niché
Messaging apps like Discord, Messenger, and Snapchat all serve different purposes. They are targeted to different sets of audiences, which makes them equally popular. Your own messaging app should also dedicate itself to a particular niche, as interests of users differ by age group, gender, or even field of expertise.
For example, Discord mostly associates itself with the gaming and IT industry. This fascinates the younger generation, but the older generation barely seems interested in using it. Hence, you should provide something intriguing that will captivate your target users and keep them interested.
2. Design Your Messaging App
The design of your application is completely based on how you envision the application to be in your mind. Proper research and planning must be done to come up with a blueprint for your ideal application. A specific wireframe model should also be designed for the application with the help of UI/UX designers while following proper design principles.
Focusing on color schemes, symmetry, position, and size of icons and buttons are key in ensuring that the overall design is appealing to your target audience. A messaging app targeted at teens, for instance, might have colorful graphics, stickers, and animations in the interface, whereas the users of a workplace messaging platform like Slack might not be a fan of such designs.
3. Develop Your App
After all the design issues have been addressed, it’s time to develop your messaging application. This will involve considerable knowledge of coding mobile applications, so it’s best to hire a team of professionals for assistance.
It’s essential to always check their portfolio and assess the skills and creativity of the development team before you hire them to confirm they are the right fit for your project. It’s also important to openly express all of your ideas so your application can be built how you envisioned it.
4. Test Your App
The application then needs to be well-tested for potential bugs and glitches by a quality assurance (QA) team. User intensive apps like Discord should be released for early access to a group of beta testers so that they could give their ratings and reviews based on the application’s utility and interface fluidity. When the app is released, it should be usable with no errors that could cause the end-user issues.
5. Deliver You Discord-Like App
Finally, your messaging application is ready for app store delivery. Your team should look forward to any constructive criticism and suggestions the app may receive from the users and use them to further enhance the application. If the application starts to bloom with an increase in active users, the team should make preliminary plans to handle the server load and traffic congestion to ensure the user experience is not compromised.
Only deploying an app on the web doesn’t guarantee a significant user base or revenue for your business. Proper marketing strategies need to be implemented for the business to gain popularity and reach a wider audience. Fortunately, there are many ways to market your Discord-like app, including App Store Optimization, Google search ads and social media promotion.
App Store Optimization
Similar to how Search Engine Optimization boosts the search results for the application on the web, App Store Optimization does this job on the app stores. This creates the possibility of your application being shown on top of the results when users search for applications with related keywords. Some basic ways to perform ASO involve using searchable keywords and tags on the app’s description in the marketplace and placing positive ratings above the deck.
Google Search Ads
Pay-per-click (PPC) are economical models to advertise the application on the web results. Since the payment for these ads is only based on the number of clicks made by users, it is more beneficial, especially for new enterprises, to run a marketing campaign with PPC compared to a lump sum payment model, in which you pay a predefined amount of money to have your ad displayed for a fixed time on a particular website. These PPC ads show up on top of search results in Google and its related apps when people search for relevant keywords like “messaging apps,” “social media apps,” “apps like Discord,” and “new chat apps.”.
Social Media Marketing
Your app will need a social media outlet to advertise itself on the digital sphere. Most social media applications nowadays allow sponsored content to be showcased on their network for a certain fee, which helps to gain traffic from all the interested users. You can also reach out to celebrities and influencers from popular media outlets, such as YouTube and TikTok, and ask them to advertise your application to their fanbase in return for a stipend. On top of that, organic social media posts are equally valued and trusted by users worldwide, so don’t assume that only spending money will generate good PR.
Since your ideas have already paved their way to reality, it’s time to integrate a revenue model into your Discord-like messaging app to make some money out of your hard work. These are some ways you can monetize your application easily:
Social media applications generally make different emoticons and stickers available to the users so they can express emotions without having to actually write out messages. A messaging app like Discord could implement this idea in their platform to encourage people to purchase customized stickers and emojis to make conversation more fun, especially if these emojis and stickers are centered around gaming, movies, and other forms of entertainment.
Emojis have become a vital form of expressing your thoughts, and people of all age groups appreciate and use them in their day-to-day conversations. Thus, your own real-time chat app could monetize these emojis to gain some considerable profit. WeChat and Line are some apps that have had huge success with this strategy.
Hosting your app on a cloud infrastructure and incorporating a Software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model could be highly beneficial for a messaging or productivity application. This allows the messaging application to kickstart a revenue model where users would have to pay to gain access to the software’s premium features.
Similar to how Discord makes use of their Nitro packages, your app could offer additional attractive features like avatars, emojis, larger file uploads, and high-resolution video calls to encourage users to invest that extra buck to unlock the maximum potential of your amazing messaging app.
Idea Maker’s Experience In Messaging Apps
Idea Maker is a software and application development company that excels in creating real-time applications from scratch. We take your idea and convert it into a working product that could take your business to new heights. Our team of developers and designers make sure you are provided with a high-quality fluid application that resembles your vision.
Apart from mobile apps, Idea Maker works in designing and developing ERP management systems, portfolios, e-commerce websites, and business websites for schools, real estate, healthcare, and tourism. We recently came up with a messaging application for one of our clients, which has proven to be a unique approach to meeting friends and new people.
Quick Friends is a social media application where you can connect with people nearby your city. Quick Friends has integrated Google Maps API and GPS system so you can look for users near your area and make “quick friends.”
If you, too, are excited about being a proud owner of a successful messaging application like Discord, look no further. Schedule a call with us today, and our team of expert business analysts and developers will provide you with a free business assessment to explore the infinite possibilities that the messaging app industry holds.