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Discord is getting new forums for old school posting

A cleaner, longer way to chat

Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Discord has grown to become a primary social hub for the Internet, serving as a host for user-made channels about everything from video game lore theorizing to Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. The client will be growing to include forums for more structured, organized conversations, according to an announcement posted to Discord’s official blog on Wednesday.

There are still forums all over the Internet, hosted on platforms like Vanilla or vBulletin, but they’ve fallen off in popularity over the years. Discord’s take on forums is interesting; it allows users to create forums inside their existing Discord channels. These forums allow users to create individual, distinct topics that remain visible to public view. It seems like a hefty expansion on Discord’s existing threads feature, which creates sub-channels that can be designated for specific topics.

Discord’s new forum view, showing a list of topics in the “machine-diy-advice” descending in a linear fashion. The topics are unrelated to each other but all regard some kind of do it yourself machinery project. Image: Discord

Discord is primarily used for instant messaging in group chats, and communities can quickly become overwhelmed by a flood of small messages. There are existing tools in the client that allow community managers to pin specific messages, create threads, or slow down the pace of chat, but they don’t fundamentally transform the nature of Discord.

Forums used to be a much more popular format for discussion online that has fallen off in time in favor of faster and more robust options. However, they still have a valuable niche in terms of hosting long-term discussions, long and thoughtful debates, and archiving information. It’ll be interesting to see how Discord communities use this feature; for instance, an official game Discord would be able to have FAQs and most common topics under one forum, while walkthroughs and guides could go under another.

The feature launches today, and it’s rolling out to Discord servers that have the Community flag under server settings enabled.