Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Discord, the community-based instant messaging and distribution platform for gamers, has announced a cool new feature. It will now allow users to sell tickets for attending events that will be held 100% virtually. The platform, which has become a hotspot for millions of people, especially gamers and people indulging in some light-hearted collaborations, might be looking towards a new stream for gaining more revenue from users. 

For now, the feature is under testing, and has been opened only to a small group of invitation-only participants. The users have been allowed to carry out ticketing for virtual events, while the company decides, if, and how much, it will take in as commission from the selling parties. 

The platform, which has largely been free till now (which acts as an important reason for why gamers prefer it over other options), has decided to monetize a part of its services, as a move to further expand its business. Up till now, the only revenue generating features for the app had come in the form of the Nitro upgrade option, wherein users were allowed to choose from different subscription plans such as $10 for a month, or even $100 dollars for a year. The upgraded features include a better selection of emoticons, better video resolution, easier screen sharing, and even animated avatars. 

The pandemic had given a massive boost to the growth of the company, which has attracted people owing to its fun, game-like layout. All its services, arising mainly from the chat, voice and video features, saw the number of users doubling in 2020. Apart from gamers, clubs like dance groups and study groups, and even some businesses and startups, turned to the platform for meeting their online community requirements. With users currently being more than 150 million in number, the platform has managed to rake in impressive revenues of more than $100 million in the last year alone. 

The company has grown so much so over the past year that back in April, Discord Inc. had received an offer from Microsoft Corp., for a takeover worth a whopping $12 billion. The company had declined to merge with the tech giant back then, even as Chief Executive Officer Jason Citron said, “Our business has just been going so well.”

Talking about virtual events, they were made possible on Discord only recently, after the company announced a few months back a new feature known as Stage Channels. The feature is designed to allow users to host events online, in a time when real time events are still not possible (at least in countries like India that are still struggling with the pandemic). When asked if he thinks that these new features, and Discord in general, might be in for a dip once the pandemic comes to a halt and normal life resumes, Citron says, “We started working on the beginnings of how Discord could be a mainstream service before COVID. I believe that the trend of people spending more time online is something that has been happening for years.”

Twitter Inc. made a similar move recently with Spaces. The new live audio conversations feature was launched with the provision that creators might use to sell provide for audio sessions on the platform events.