Discord, the popular chat platform, is diverging from the path of other social media giants by broadening its developer monetization initiatives. While platforms like X and Reddit have made API access expensive, Discord has taken an inclusive stance, recently allowing U.S. developers to sell their apps and extending this feature to U.K. and European developers.
The array of apps on Discord varies from mini-games and AI tools to moderation bots. Developers receive 70% of the app sales, leaving 30% for Discord's platform costs. Mason Sciotti, a senior product manager at Discord, highlighted the platform's commitment to an open API since its inception in 2015. From a small team of three, Discord's external development-focused team has grown to over 100 members.
Presently, Discord boasts over 750,000 third-party apps, with a monthly user count surpassing 45 million. These developers can now earn via app subscriptions, with plans for tipping and one-off purchases in the pipeline. To ensure the integrity of the open API system, Discord has set up a developer compliance team, alongside automated checks, to maintain the platform's standards, especially regarding data privacy.
Discord is not just about monetization but also about user safety. The newly announced Teen Safety Assist initiative aims to safeguard teenagers on the platform. The program introduces safety alerts and content filters. For instance, a first-time direct message to a teen may trigger a safety alert, guiding them towards protective tools. Similarly, potentially sensitive media in direct messages will be blurred, requiring users to opt-in to view, reminiscent of Apple's safety feature in iOS 17.
Lastly, Discord is introducing a warning system to enlighten users about any rules they might have broken, promoting reflection and better behavior.
This strategic move positions Discord as a developer-friendly and safety-conscious platform in a competitive social media landscape.