Why Europe Must End Its 30-Year Digital Winter to Ensure Its Long-Run Future

Report: Discord to Show Ads After History of Shunning Them

Social media platform Discord reportedly plans to add advertisements after a history of dismissing them.

The ads will begin appearing on Discord’s free platform this week, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Saturday (March 30), citing sources familiar with the company’s plans.

The ads are from video game companies and will offer users gifts for carrying out in-game tasks. The sources said Discord aims to hire more than a dozen ad sales people. According to the report, Discord said users will be able to turn off the ads in their settings.

WSJ said the addition of ads marks a pivot for Discord, whose CEO Jason Citron has repeatedly said the company would not rely on advertisers the way platforms like Facebook and Instagram do.

A spokesperson for Discord confirmed for PYMNTS that the company’s comments as reflected in the WSJ report were accurate.

The move comes as a number of online services — including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Max and Paramount+ — are adding ad-supported tiers to increase their revenue and connect with consumers who will not or cannot spring for premium, ad-free tiers.

Meanwhile, PYMNTS wrote recently about the impact of social media on consumer behavior with 43% of consumers browsing their social feeds to find goods and services, according to PYMNTS Intelligence research.

“Facebook, Instagram and TikTok have high conversion rates, with users frequently making purchases based on discoveries made on these platforms, per the study,” that report said.

In terms of products purchased via social media platforms, Instagram’s visual appeal makes it a preferred platform for fashion-related buys, with 47% of consumers finding clothes from Instagram in the 30 days prior to being surveyed.

Meanwhile, TikTok’s short-form videos boost beauty product purchases, with 33% of consumers engaging in such transactions. YouTube’s longer video format is effective for displaying products that require demonstrations: appliances, home furnishings and pet products.

“The pervasive influence of social media on consumer behavior underscores its role as a transformative force in the digital age,” PYMNTS wrote. “From shaping travel preferences to driving retail transactions, platforms wield power in shaping perceptions, driving purchasing decisions and fostering connections between brands and consumers.”

For businesses that wish to maintain a competitive edge in a tough market, that report said, embracing the opportunities offered by social media is important to remaining relevant and engaging effectively with their core audiences.