Discord Rolls Out Clubhouse-Esque Audio Feature

Microsoft, discord, acquisition, gaming, chat, social

Messaging app Discord has rolled out a new feature letting users hold live events for audiences in a manner similar to how audio chat app Clubhouse operates, Reuters reported.

The new program called Stage Channels will let users access simplified ways to manage voice chats with up to 1,000 members. The program should help Discord boost community engagement, according to Reuters.

Discord launched in 2015 and was originally mostly used by videogamers. It offers voice, video and text chats. The app has over 140 million users and is involved in discussions to be sold to Microsoft for $10 billion, Reuters reported.

Clubhouse, which debuted last year and is invite-only, has exploded like a brushfire in popularity, with the number of active users shooting up to 10 million per week, according to Reuters. The success of the platform has proven lucrative enough for imitators, with other companies also looking to try it.

Twitter is rolling out a service called Spaces, a live audio feature, in April, and LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft, will also be testing audio features, Reuters reported. Facebook, Telegram and Slack Technologies are reportedly working on something similar, too.

Discord began working quicker on its Stage Channels as more people used this kind of feature because of the pandemic, according to Reuters. Stage Channels will let listeners raise their hands to speak.

Amid Microsoft’s potential acquisition of Discord, Microsoft users already have the ability to link their gaming accounts to Discord, which could make the company prime for a takeover. And Discord also almost doubled its user base last year, with revenues hitting as much as $130 million.

Microsoft ended 2020 with $131 billion in total cash and has since been looking for potential targets for acquisition. In March, the company closed a deal to buy ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion.

Discord has also been in talks with other buyers.