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Discord’s new update brings safety features and monetization

Discord announced several updates that are coming to the popular communication service this fall, and many of them focus on monetization. Although Discord and all of its core features will remain free to use, it announced new features that will open up more avenues for people to pay for account customization or the use of apps built into Discord’s API.

The Discord shop.

An in-app Shop is currently in testing with Discord Nitro subscribers and will soon be available for anyone using Discord. In that shop, people can spend real money to purchase collectible avatar decorations and profile effects, like one that sees the user’s profile image filled up with a magic potion. Slightly discounted for Nitro members, these customization options can be permanently equipped to profiles after purchase, so quirky avatar decorations are no longer seasonal.

On top of that, Discord is expanding monetization for the third-party apps built with the app’s open API. Discord is expanding the developer tools available as it aims to simplify the UI for launching and interacting with apps, allow activities to be playable outside of voice chat, and enable some bots to be used in any channel with server admin approval. To encourage people to continue to make apps for the platform, it’s going to let developers charge one-time or subscription fees to use their Discord service and also provide analytic tools so devs can assess their app’s success.

While it’s clear that Discord now wants people to stick around and spend money while they’re hanging out on Discord, another big aspect of this fall’s updates is user safety. For teenage users, Discord will implement Teen Safety Assists that attach safety alerts when a teen gets a DM from someone new for the first time and automatically blur media sent to them via DMs. Those who aren’t teenagers will still be able to opt into these features.

Discord is reworking how it punishes people who break those rules with a new Warning System that’s similar to Xbox’s recent changes. This tiered system clearly indicates what rules a user violated, and gives people a chance to get back in good standing instead of being automatically banned. All of this will be communicated in a new Account Standing tab.

Those are the biggest improvements, although other changes are coming soon. Voice messages and improvements to the app’s launch time and media upload speed are available now, while the release of the meme-making Remix tool for non-Nitro members will happen later this week. A streamlined notifications tab, updated dark themes, customizable app icons, and search filters are also in the works.

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