Discord is changing the way usernames work, which includes cutting the four digits at the end of each handle. The chat platform announced the change via an official blog post on May 3. The announcement says the change will debut “over the coming weeks.”
Right now, Discord allows users to pick any username they like, then caps that name with a random four-digit code. This means thousands of users can all choose the name MasterChiefFan420 without conflicting with each other. Users can also choose to customize their code via Discord Nitro, the platform’s subscription service. Now, every user will have to pick a new, unique username. “New usernames are lowercase, alphanumeric, limited to certain special characters, and do not have discriminators, making them easier to remember, read, type, and share,” reads the blog post.
Usernames will be capped at 32 characters, and are restricted in certain ways. For instance, a handle cannot attempt to imitate or impersonate Discord staff, server messages, or any other individuals, groups, or organizations. It’s unclear how Discord intends to enforce this policy or confirm user identities, especially given the way verification-related fiascos have been playing out on Twitter.
While users will have to pick a unique handle, they can continue to use display names. As Discord explains it, “[A display name] is your most prominent form of identity on Discord, and it is how other users will see you in DMs where a friend nickname is not set, in servers where a server nickname is not set, and in other places like friend requests.”
With the new system, users will have a unique username, a display name, and if they so choose, server-specific handles. If you use Discord, you’ll be notified in the app when you are eligible to pick your new username and set a display name. The change is rolling out for older accounts first, so veterans on the platform will get first crack at picking a new name for their account.