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Thursday, April 18, 2024

180-degree turnaround at Discord: Advertising is to be introduced after all

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The ads could appear in the coming weeks

Discord plans to introduce sponsored ads to boost its revenue, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ, behind a paywall), a departure from the company’s previous positions.

Why this matters: A significant change in Discord’s business strategy could impact the user experience and perception of the platform. Collecting user data is necessary for the placement of targeted advertising 

New employees for advertisements

In detail: In order to realize these plans, Discord is expected to hire more than a dozen new employees for ad sales positions. 

  • The decision comes after Discord increased its revenue to $600 million annually – four times what it was in 2020.
  • The new ads will be displayed in the bottom left corner of the app.
  • It should be possible to deactivate the ads  

Advertisements are said to be sponsored quests: According to the WSJ report, the ads are said to be collaborations with game developers where players can earn rewards for different titles. 

What data will be collected? 

  • Location
  • Age
  • Games played 

When? Discord has not yet published these plans itself. According to the Wall Street Journal, the changes should come into force in the next few weeks.

A departure from previous position

180-degree turnaround: Jason Citro, the company’s CEO, has spoken out against display advertising in an interview with NPR 

in 2021. 

We believe that people’s data is their data and that they should feel comfortable and safe having conversations and that their data is not used against them in inappropriate ways. We take privacy very seriously. We don’t scan other people’s messages. We don’t read them.

Jason Citron, CEO of Discord, interviewed by NPR in 2021.

Costs are also being cut: In January, Discord laid off 17 percent of its workforce. That was 170 people. 

What do you think of the planned changes at Discord? Are you rather critical or can you understand the move? Let us know in the comments below!


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