Some online messaging platforms manage to make themselves the definitive message service for particular communities of the internet. Discord, a voice-over-IP platform launched in 2015, gradually became the go-to chat app for gamers, thanks to its versatility in offering voice calls, video calls, private chatting and even digital distribution of media files, thanks to its community structure of “servers.” The fact that it is available on all major desktop and portable operating systems and browsers is another plus for its wide adoption. With more than 250 million users worldwide as of 2019, Discord is a hot enough platform that Microsoft has its eyes on it.
Bloomberg tells us that Microsoft is apparently engaged in talks with Discord Inc. with the prospect of the former acquiring the latter. Inside sources have information that the tech company developing the gamer-favored Discord chat-messaging platform is offering itself up for grabs by any other tech giant with money to spend. The value is also nothing to sneeze at, since it was reported to be at a cool $10 billion. The Microsoft side of the discussion is said to be led by Phil Spencer, executive VP for Gaming and head executive of the Xbox arm.
Interestingly, Microsoft is not the only company that Discord has had talks with for possible acquisition. Before, they have also met with online marketplace juggernaut Amazon, as well as Epic Games of “Fortnite” fame. Microsoft however is of special note, given that last year they made inroads but failed to acquire the American portion of Chinese video-sharing social network TikTok. Discord Inc. had expressed interest in re-expanding their platform from a gaming-focused chat hub to a general social network, a “place to talk to.” Being bought up by Microsoft might help it in that regard.
And acquisition is only one possibility that Discord is exploring for its future. The inside sources add that in case no good deal to sell is forthcoming, the company is in a position to go public instead. Only last year the Discord platform cleaned house with $130 million in revenue from the portion of its user base that pay “Nitro,” a $9.99 monthly subscription for additional features like higher screen-sharing resolution and increased upload limits. The increase of users during the pandemic that began in 2020 may have inspired Discord Inc. to start thinking big.
Image courtesy of Android Police