Patreon, the platform for creators to earn revenue directly from their fanbase, is rolling out a native chat feature. While not intended to replace Discord, it offers a simpler, more direct means of communication between creators and their communities.
Patreon has long had a symbiotic relationship with Discord, automatically adding patrons to Discord servers tied to specific membership tiers. Although Patreon CEO Jack Conte stresses the ongoing support for Discord, the new feature offers an alternative for those who prefer a simpler, integrated experience.
The in-app chat feature aims to lower the barrier to engagement for fans who may find Discord overwhelming or for creators who prefer an "in-the-box" solution. Unlike Discord, which offers expansive functionality, Patreon's chat is streamlined. Creators can set up to four different chats, which can be gated to specific membership tiers.
The feature offers customization options, allowing fans to display their patronage duration, other communities they are part of, and personal bios. Creators maintain control over moderation, though Patreon plans to add a feature allowing the appointment of moderators.
- Pros: Ease of use, simplified engagement, more control for creators.
- Cons: Limited functionality compared to Discord, creator-moderated at outset.
Patreon is piloting the feature with a select group of creators, with plans for a broader rollout in the coming months. The company is looking to further invest in the tool, likely adding more functionalities as it evolves.
Patreon’s native chat feature represents an intriguing evolution for the platform, particularly as it competes for dominance in the fan membership space. Whether it will supplement or eventually replace third-party tools like Discord remains to be seen, but for now, it adds another layer of interaction possibilities for creators and their communities.