IRC is the ancestor of this kind of chat, but IRC isn't as widely known as it was in past generations, it has connection privacy challenges, and has a less cohesive service identity and onboarding story that people have come to expect with the spread of centralized services. Slack is another modern, centralized take on IRC, but reveals one's email address, and multiparty voice chat is gated behind paid plans and limited in size. Gamer voice chat systems are decentralized and are lacking in text chat. Old instant messaging networks have been shut down, new ones either don't have desktop clients, don't have a good group voice chat, or reveal personal info. Skype was fine on all three and was a hangout tool for many, until Microsoft ran it into the ground.
It's a bit of a meme now that companies are putting out chat services yet no one can do them right. Surely there's economic forces at play, and rich media chat is probably expensive, but there's companies with very deep pockets who could run it as a loss leader just to starve their competitors, to commoditize their own complements. But cloud storage for individuals or video hosting like YouTube is also expensive, yet an upgrade path exists for users who want to pay. Google has thoroughly ceded chat to Facebook and still can't sort their strategy out, Facebook is just now realizing that they could tackle a more private chat too and they could satisfy that demand, Microsoft has morphed Skype into everything from Windows-integrated platformwide IM to a bad Snapchat clone and back again to a WebRTC shim, this time with a Chrome-only client. Asian apps capable, but are focusing on other markets and aren't as well known in the US. Telegram still doesn't have group voice calls. VC companies focus on the enterprise where willingness to pay is higher, amounts are higher, but use-cases are different.
So props to Discord for making a chat client that's as easy to use as Skype was.
The general stability was also just fantastic compared to Skype. I used some Skype last year as part of a teaching role and good grief was it torture in comparison. Constant dropping, terrible quality, and painful to arrange.
- I can't mute some channels completely. I have raised bug reports, tried all the various options, researched everything I could find in Google about this issue. Bottom line is that "mute" is taken by Discord to be "only mute, unless I think you need to hear this", with no way to fully mute a channel.
- I only use Discord in browser and it now has a complete and very distracting screen refresh every few seconds.
- It is a memory pig in browser and my browser seems to become unstable after a short time, while running Discord in one of the tabs.
Right click on the channel icon and go to 'Notification Settings' rather than clicking on 'Server Mute'. From there you can choose whether a mention (inc./ex. @everyone/@here) counts and whether mobile notifications are enabled.
As for the client you may want to try Ripcord. It uses less memory though I'm not sure you can mute people the same way. While I don't think it's ever enforced, technically using other clients is against the Discord ToS.
Either way there are plenty of reasons not to use Discord if you can.
That is one of my main gripes with Discord, in addition to:
1. Uploading photos/videos through the mobile app stops if you lock your phone or background the app. No other modern app exhibits this behavior.
2. Blocking users shows a large "BLOCKED" message, with no option to truly block them.
As far as server/channel mute - believe me, I have tried every option, including your suggestions. It works for most servers but I have 2 that I can't mute no matter what I try.
This does not solve my mute issue, but great to know that this might be the cause! Thanks for this.
The desktop client had issues with FPS drop in games. You can disable Hardware Acceleration in the Appearance section and your FPS returns to normal. I guess you'd have to find the browser setting, maybe you can do it per tab?
I'm in about 20+ channels and memory on windows is 135MB
My Discord is sitting at about half a gig and I'm in 12 or so servers.
I did some brief testing and it looks like the usage is depending on your servers activity. If people are posting lots of gifs the memory goes up. I got up to 300 going to some of the communities I just follow, rather than actively participate in daily. When I went back to my "main server" where my close friends are (we dont gif much) it slowly droppped back down to ~110. I guess eventually once it releases the in memory fluff it will drop back down.
Does doing this help your memory usage? https://support.discordapp.com/hc/en-us/articles/206342858--...
I'll be honest and say I've never used roles so I'm sure you are right. That is unfortunate
It's been open in a tab for a week, on a fairly high-volume server (dozens of channels, thousands of users) and FireFox reports (about:memory) 150MB usage for that tab.
Your experience seems to mirror my Slack experience though, I have to kill that tab about every other day due to live leaks.
IRC had issues but at least the clients were decent.
Sure people will rush to say the IRC clients of old opened in .02 nanoseconds after you thought about checking your channels, but that's not useful compared to the fact Discord out of the box has more functionality than an IRC client could ever hope to provide, and looks pleasing to the eye while doing that.
- persistent chat history
- mobile client
- a sane registration / nickname reservation method
Perhaps requests like those don't match your own priorities, but I don't think they're wrong.
That's kind of misleading. "Server-side chat history" is more accurate.
IRC logs are more persistent. It's possible to go back and check them at any time. If I've read the messages, I know they've been logged, and I know they'll still be there.
Discord history, on the other hand, can be deleted from the servers at any time. Often when you go back to double check something that was written previously, it's not there any more.
 - https://thelounge.chat/
 - https://github.com/thelounge/thelounge
 - https://convos.by/
 - https://github.com/Nordaaker/convos
FWIW, there are also shiny front-ends to NNTP. That would actually be a great way to have a threaded messaging system and attachments.
https://riot.im/ powered by Matrix also seems a good alternative. It's getting more stable every day.
I've been a Discord fan since very early days. It's a great product and a good company.
But no dark theme options, so not theme-able in any useful way.
The main issue I see is the culture. Discord's community has quite an opposite culture as Slack (free time vs work time) for instance. Being able to have multiple Discord handles could solve that.
It avoids the whole "hey, did you get my text" thing and there's several social situations where knowing whether the other person has read your message (regardless of reply) is useful, so you don't end up calling them to do exactly that.
It's like quote replies, emoji, etc… none of these things are essential to 1-on-1 comm, but if there's a platform that has these features, it'll most likely win out over others.
I might accidentally tap on notification and make it read when I'm eating but don't actually want to read it then or if the sender keeps bugging to read it when I know the message had arrived but want to read it later instead, it's not helping the conversation.
I have run a mumble/murmur server for years, but I had some life things happen and dropped it for a while and most of my online friends moved to discord and I see nothing but annoyance with it, not to mention privacy and security concerns for days.
While me and my friends could run a Matrix or IRC server or whatever the new open source chat awesomeness is these days we don't really see the point when Discord does everything we want and more and doesn't require any management beyond setting up our guild settings, channels, and roles.
Of course I should have chosen my words more carefully, I understand child posters point about how technical things are hard, but I wasn't addressing a webboard of non-technical users... this is HN.
I only use Linux for many of the same reasons, and I openly acknowledge it's not as "easy" , but there is Morea to the products and services we use than just that, and I think things like the Snowden/Wikileaks revelations of these issues mean that we as techies and general trend leaders in that world need to set a better example on the security and privacy fronts.
Telegram has one feature I miss in Discord: quote replies. It makes easier to follow conversations in a crowded channel. It is the most upvoted feature in the Discord feedback tool: https://support.discordapp.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/3600....
But Telegram misses a lot of things provided by Discord: multiple channels on the same server to organize conversations, reactions/likes, voice, the possibility to transfer ownership of an existing server.
But its group feature has become really powerful, and can be used as an alternative to IRC (except for the fact that a "group" can't be divided in multiple channels).
Some Mozilla groups have been using Telegram for some time: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Telegram
And a half dozen other little enclaves.
Sure, as I've read in this thread, Discord is intended for the same kind of discussions that would happen in a public space, or in a group, not for the "truly private discussions",so "no need for all the privacy features "... except you do, precisely for these reasons!
I mean, Discord is privately-owned, a public space by its verynature is not. If I'm talking about anything beyond how nice is the weather, such as my political thoughts, or what I love, I don't want anybody (but possibly me) to be able to make a profit through it!
By uploading, distributing, transmitting or otherwise using Your Content with the Service, you grant to us a perpetual, nonexclusive, transferable, royalty-free, sublicensable, and worldwide license to use, host, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, and display Your Content in connection with operating and providing the Service. The Company does not guarantee the accuracy, quality, or integrity of any user content posted.
They also have a ban against distributing or even talking about macro/autohotkey programs, and, of course, they can see every single message and piece of content you put on the service.
It's 20XX; why is there anything but harsh condemnation for services like this? Modern communication platforms should not be set up this way.
AutoHotKey have their own relatively active Discord server, so obviously, you can talk about it. What is banned is the use of macros on the Discord client itself.
As for seeing every single message, then yes, certainly. That's how you get the entire conversation history when you first log into a server, search, previews, etc... Discord is not privacy oriented, it is a convenient platform, and great for semi-public conversations. It is not a replacement for Signal, and vice-versa.
Modern communication platforms don't have to be all privacy-oriented. Just like in real life, there are public and private places, with different expectations.
I wish more people understood this. Discord's primary design is large open public spaces; layers of encryption and e2e make no sense.
But the rule is very odd. Most "gaming" focused mice/keyboards have software and buttons dedicated to performing macro functions, and they're present on major brands like Razer and Logitech equipment.
Every chat service and social media has this clause because they couldn't send your messages without it.
Please do your research before bringing out the pitchforks.
No, the expansive licensing Discord demands here is not required to operate the service.
By uploading any User Content you hereby grant and will grant Y Combinator and its affiliated companies a nonexclusive, worldwide, royalty free, fully paid up, transferable, sublicensable, perpetual, irrevocable license to copy, display, upload, perform, distribute, store, modify and otherwise use your User Content for any Y Combinator-related purpose in any form, medium or technology now known or later developed.
Discord tricks the user into using it as a private messaging platform. Its main draw, as I understand it, is the IRC channel clones ("Servers"), which can be public or private/invite-only. It's also got no privacy or security options for the direct person-to-person messages, which people use essentially as an SMS/iMessage/WhatsApp replacement. Encrypted chat at scale is hard, but this is a relatively new product and was built in an era where privacy concerns were well known. The benefits of encryption/privacy/security etc (and drawbacks from the lack of it) are clear.
I understand they need to be able to transmit the data, but they also clearly state that the developers of the product can look at your messages in cleartext. That's absolutely not required. How do you think Signal operates?
What does that have to do with needing to acquire rights to redistribute your content?
>Discord tricks the user into using it as a private messaging platform.
Discord doesn't advertise security at all (they do mention keeping your IP secure in some support articles but that isn't advertising)
Beyond that, Discord exists to create big open public spaces. Why would you need encryption in a big open public space.
But when a company lets a lawyer write their TOS, they're gonna end up with a "better safe than sorry" version.
In order to host your (automatically copyrighted) content on their server and display it to other people in your chats they need your permission, so you have to give it to them if you want to use Discord. Without it they would be infringing on your copyright by hosting your content on the service.
I'm not sure how else you expect it to work.
Yes, they could use your images in their advertising, or publish a book of your images, or make a movie out of all your messages and videos, or anything else they wanted to do with, as they call it, "Your Content". That's what a perpetual, transferable, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicensable license to create derivative works is.
And no, all those rights are not required to operate Discord.
So what you're saying is that when you grant someone the right to use your content for a specific purpose, you're actually granting them the right to do whatever the hell they want with it?
Again, not a lawyer, but "in connection with operating and providing the Service" reads like a legally important part of that sentence to me.
"Service" in this context is defined earlier in the document:
>the Discord application (the “App”) or the website located at https://discordapp.com (the "Site"), which are collectively referred to as the “Service,”
IMO you're reading this very creatively if you think that grants them a right to publish a book of your private messages. Rights to use your content are granted specifically "in connection with operating and providing the Service." A book of your messages is not in connection with operating/providing the Discord app or website.
We should hold ourselves to a higher standard instead of blindly shuffling into the tar pits. Does that mean life is harder? Yes. But no one great ever took the easy way out.
When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Kandra Labs (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, perform, display and distribute such content.
The ridiculous pitchforking in this thread is out of control.
For a lot of my less tech-savvy friends, it has been a blessing too. Discord is incredibly easy to set up, the audio adapts without tweaking, and new chatrooms are just a couple clicks away. Really my only other option was Skype and that is seemingly much worse.
Woah. That's strange considering I've subscribed to the AHK Discord group for a while now. Maybe they're referring to the ban in the context around cheating in video games.
For a while, I saw many subreddit mods pushing Discord in side bars and stickied posts, often with language that suggested it was an official Reddit counterpart to the sub.
I supposed it could be that Reddit management was choosing to siphon off its own user base and influence to Discord. But my suspicion was that it was more likely the action of one or more mods of the sub, and then question would be what was their motivation.
It also provides a good outlet for people looking to find others to game or hangout with that share at least a few similar interests.
I suspect that the reason you see so many Discords for subreddits is it's free, and easy. I recall few subs having IRCs which the only other option that really compared, probably because of the barrier to entry for both the user and the admin.
Reddit did launch their own chat feature. No idea if anyone uses it, I sure as hell haven't.
Of course, these aren't the only reasons. Obviously the sheer ease of setting up a Discord server had a major effect, as did the pseudononymity, the voice chat features, the extra bells and whistles compared to IRC and Skype and the share URLs among other things.
But I definitely feel the moderation may have had some effect, and may be partly why it seems to be replacing Reddit as the network of choice in gaming communities and what not.
1. You can start a new server right in the client by clicking a button.
2. Logs are saved server-side and synced across all your clients (phone, PC, etc).
3. You can upload images and videos to be hosted by Discord's servers. Media and links appear inline in the chat log.
4. No strange rituals involving NickServ or ChanServ.
5. Mobile notifications.
True but God help you if you ever lose your discord 2fa seed; you'll have to throw away that identity and start over. 
From their FAQ:
Note: If you do not have access to your backup codes, we are unable to remove 2FA and you will have to create a new account. Discord cannot remove 2FA or issue you new backup codes.
The way I got into Discord was some open source project had a link on their GitHub page for collaboration, I clicked that, entered a name and within minutes I was helping out with some code. A cookie kept my temporary account alive.
I don’t remember any trolls or spammers or anything. I noticed there’s a setting to control the amount of filtering for your server. And I think there’s also a captcha the first time a temporary user joins.
But this comment is very similar to the infamous rsync comment on the Dropbox original Show HN post.
Most people don't know IRC, are put off by it's raw (or lack of) design, etc. It's much easier to sell something like slack/discord than IRC.
I remember having so many engineers fighting against HipChat being too slow, and saying we should just use IRC. Yes, in a way it's true, it does everything we'd need, it's fast, can be self hosted etc... but Nancy from HR or Paul from finance would NOT want to figure out how it works.
> For a Linux user, you can already build such a system yourself quite trivially by getting an FTP account, mounting it locally with curlftpfs, and then using SVN or CVS on the mounted filesystem. From Windows or Mac, this FTP account could be accessed through built-in software ... is it reasonable to expect to make money off of this?
compare discord to say teamspeak or ventrilo before it, where you had to both set up the software and configure it, as well as rent or own a server for people to connect to, discord was a godsend
and miles better than skype
I really hope they don't end up selling out to Microsoft/Google/Facebook or use their platform to do some form of political activism.
On the other hand, Discord seems like a good match for small businesses. Would be interested in seeing something offered on that end.
The nice UX makes it easy for everyone to use, and the community aspect is appealing.
IRC isn't very easy to use for the common person.
Maybe I'm just old and grumpy, but am I the only one who finds the UX to be atrocious? Everything seems to a nondescript icon that rarely represents what it's supposed to do, nearly everything is flat so it's hard to tell what you can actually click on and whats decoration. Everytime I use it feels like an exercise in mental gymnastics just to navigate it.
I'm 40 and grew up on mIRC, Discord feels a natural evolution with all the new features.
I also feel like they capitalised on something specific that gamers wanted (chat and voice calls with low latency). Skype call quality is very much hit or miss, and while Mumble is great not everyone has the expertise in setting up a server.
A common person can learn. Also the audience (mostly gamers) know how to do stuff with their computers.
It also doesn't require a bouncer just so you can go from mobile to PC to tablet without issue.
This is just my personal opinion, but I (and my circle) have found Discord to have the worst UI of any mainstream application.
First, there's only a dark theme, which I find much more difficult to read than Slack's default light theme.
Every window (native client) is crammed full of widgets, making it very difficult for fresh users to figure out which button to click to invite people.
It's also constantly firing off unread notifications, adding more and more density to the UI. It makes it very difficult to instantly know where to look.
As another example, I just fired up the desktop client and created a random server - and now I literally have no idea how to delete or disconnect from it.
I'm not a fan of Slack for other reasons, but its UI is far, far superior to Discord.
Had TeamSpeak or Mumble been able to offer hosted services for free, maybe Discord wouldn't have existed.
Most of those are not for me, but Indie rubbish seems a bit off.
* When a friend arrived in the evening and the others had been talking about random things all day long, the friend was often submerged by the amount of fluff to read. Discord solves this in two ways: 1) the different channels allow us to keep discussions tidy, we have a channel for random discussion, one for our evening plans, one for future holidays, one for music... 2) we can pin (not sure of the name in English) important messages, so the friends arriving later only have to read those.
* The desktop application feels light-weight and fast, even on my weak chromebook. Compared to the memory hog that was Messenger in the browser, it's very pleasant.
* Many fun functionalities such as custom emojis. The emoji panel that opens when you type a colon makes it easier to find the reaction you want to send. I'm aware many on HN don't see the point of emojis, but I find them really fun and useful.
* Bots. Good luck having a bot in a Messenger discussion, with Discord it's trivial.
* The audio discussions are very easy to use and efficient. I love the push to talk mode.
* Muting is fine-grained. You can mute one channel, an entire server,...
* The reactions system makes it trivial to very spontaneously start a little poll. "Where do you guys want to eat? [Letter A emoji] restaurant x [Letter B emoji] restaurant y", and then you react to your own message with both emojis. Your friends just have to click one of the reactions to add theirs, so the little numbers next to each reaction act like a poll counter.
* You can edit your own messages, with no time limit AFAIK. Very convenient, especially with the up arrow which automatically edits your last message.
* Roles are precise and easy to use. We have a role for the core group of friends, with our private channels.
A few drawbacks :
* No quote responses, like Whatsapp has for example
* No attachments larger than 8 MB, which makes it impossible to send even a small video you've shot with your recent phone (unless you decrease the film resolution in your phone's settings I guess)
* I've had a few issues with the Android client, such as receiving a notification for a message, opening the app and the message isn't there. No way to force a refresh, so I have to kill the app and open it again. Might have been caused by battery saving mode, not sure.
* Accessing private messages is not very intuitive. Why do you have to go to the main screen first? I don't have many servers, so I'd like to be able to add my closest friends in the server list on the left of the screen, to access our discussions in one click or press.
* Some clever things are part of the client instead of the server, which would be fine if it were consistent between clients, which it's not. I'm thinking of the +:reaction_here: shortcut to quickly add a reaction to the last message in the discussion. It doesn't work with the Android client.
FWIW I use both happily.
I'd be interested in knowing what you prefer in both, since you're using both
Also, have you ever tried a free software, decentralized alternative?
> Also, have you ever tried a free software, decentralized alternative?
Which are you thinking of?
I've used Riot before, to see what Matrix was all about. The Riot client was kind of sluggish.
Anyways, I suspect the real reason people use things like Slack and Discord is not because it's the best tool for the job but because it's free for them to make a community. Typically, the person who administrates the server/team/community also has to pay a monthly subscription fee or pay to host it on a VPS, so it's only natural that people are flocking to a service which offers to let you do that for free.
The limit goes up to 50MB if you pay for nitro or nitro classic