It’s been a while since I’ve done an app review. Most apps don’t impress me very much. Although it was designed with multiplayer gamers in mind, Discord works equally well for business communication. Its versatility is what brought me to write this review. I’ve reviewed other business communication tools before, but nothing like this…
What is Discord?
Discord is a free cloud-based chat platform designed for gamers. The app is available on just about any device. Whether you use Linux, Mac OS, or Windows, the desktop client is smooth and responsive. If you can’t install it, there’s a web client that works just as well. Discord is also available on Android and iOS devices.
The Benefit for Gamers
Discord is one of the few platforms which includes high quality voice chat. Users can create their own servers with multiple channels for communication. Permissions are granular on each server. Non-owners can be designated as administrator or moderator.
Useful for Businesses
One thing that occurred to me while testing Discord was it’s potential application in the business environment. While Skype, Lync, and Lotus SameTime seem to have the market cornered, the simplicity and smoothness offered by Discord could make it a viable alternative.
Discord allows files to be shared via simple drag & drop. The ability to set always-on voice communication could allow remote workers to communicate as easily as being in the same room with their peers. Automatic previews of web links shared in the chat window is the icing on the cake.
But Wait, There’s More…
As if it weren’t enough, developers can code their own Discord bots using the free API. Pre-programmed chat bots offer everything from reminder services to full fledged RPG games (more for the gamers of course). With the API freely available, a business could develop its own bot programs to make the app even more useful and customized to it’s requirements. Perhaps your business needs to save a chat log of everything that transpires in certain channels – you can make a bot for that.
Is it Right For Your Business?
As with all chat programs, businesses would have to police the use of Discord just as they would any other communication tool. Chat programs are notoriously abused in the business world, but with firm policies your company could reap the benefits of Discord. It’s free so why not give it a shot?
Sharif Jameel is a business owner, IT professional, runner, & musician. His professional certifications include CASP, Sec+, Net+, MCSA, & ITIL and others. He's also the guitar player for the Baltimore-based cover band, Liquifaction.