Discord has rapidly risen in the industry, surpassing notable competitors such as Skype, Hinge, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Despite its unconventional approach of no ads, no data sales, and free usage, Discord has achieved a remarkable valuation of over seven billion dollars in just six years. This anomaly raises an intriguing question: How does Discord maintain its immense value without traditional sources of income?
The answer lies in a complex web of strategies that combine user expansion, investments, and integration with a worldwide data surveillance network.
The Epic Rise of Discord
In 2015, Jason Citron, an avid gamer and visionary, embarked on a mission to create a platform that would revolutionize online communication. What emerged was Discord, an app initially plagued by technical hurdles but infused with an unwavering spirit of innovation. Discord’s appeal quickly transcended the gaming community, captivating users worldwide. Within just a year, its user base catapulted from 3 million to a staggering 25 million, attracting the discerning eyes of investors.
Key Discord Stats
- Discord has 140 million monthly active users. Its active user base has doubled over the last year.
- Discord has raised a total of $483.8 million, including $100 million in its most recent funding round (Series H).
- Discord generates $130 million in annual revenue.
- Discord is currently valued at $7 billion.
- 13.5 million servers are active on Discord each week.
Source for this statistic: https://backlinko.com/discord-users
The Subscription Conundrum
At first glance, Discord’s revenue model may appear unremarkable. Discord Nitro, their subscription service, offers premium features for $4.99 per month, including customizations, high-quality video sharing, and custom emojis. In July 2020, Discord purportedly raked in $120 million from subscriptions alone. However, this revenue barely scratches the surface of Discord’s billion-dollar valuation.
Discord’s Unique Strategy
The Role of Investments
Discord’s unorthodox approach prioritizes user expansion over immediate profit generation. Investors are drawn to this growth-centric philosophy. Rather than seeking immediate returns, Discord establishes a mutually beneficial cycle of user acquisition, attracting more investors and, in turn, further user growth.
Microsoft’s Offer of $12 billion USD
In 2021, Microsoft offered $12 billion to acquire Discord. However, founder Jason Citron rejected the offer, suggesting that Discord has greater ambitions. The value of Discord goes beyond just profit, relying on its large user base and limitless potential.
Tencent’s Intriguing Presence
One notable investor in Discord is Tencent, the Chinese tech behemoth. Tencent’s investments extend to over 600 companies globally, encompassing Discord, Reddit, and Snapchat, among others. This web of investments raises poignant questions about data privacy and security, given Tencent’s close association with the Chinese government.
Discord’s Cryptic Data Practices
Discord touts itself as a guardian of user privacy, asserting that it does not sell user data. Yet, the reality is more intricate. Discord shares user information with vendors and advertising platforms to boost its user base and measure ad performance. It also shares data with related companies under common control and ownership.
Data Vulnerabilities and Surveillance Tool?
Discord’s data handling practices and absence of end-to-end encryption make it susceptible to data breaches. A single breach could expose vast troves of user data, an unsettling prospect, particularly with Tencent’s involvement and its obligation to share data with the Chinese government.
Discord’s exponential growth translates into accumulating substantial data on its users. This data could hold immense value for surveillance purposes, enabling Discord’s majority shareholder, Tencent, and, by extension, the Chinese government to predict global events and trends.
The events of January 6, 2021, in the United States cast a harsh spotlight on Discord’s role as a platform for organizing and coordinating actions. Discord retained extensive data related to these events, raising disquieting questions about the potential use or access of this data by external entities.
China’s Ambitions and Data Collection
China’s ambitions for global dominance, embodied in the “2049 plan,” rely heavily on data collection and analysis. Companies from China, such as Tencent, have made significant investments in Western tech companies to acquire valuable data. Discord’s rapid growth is in line with this comprehensive strategy.
Discord’s large user base and data holdings raise concerns about who truly benefits from its platform. Users may think they use Discord for free, but their data is a valuable asset for investors and potential surveillance.
Discord’s business model diverges significantly from the norm, prioritizing user growth and investments over immediate profitability, allowing it to maintain a high valuation. However, its association with Tencent and concerns about data security and surveillance raise important questions about the true cost of using Discord. Understanding the inner workings of companies like Discord is crucial in a world where data is an increasingly valuable asset.
Luke from FiveM-Mods.net
Hi, I'm Luke. 🙂 I am a gamer and love to write about FiveM, GTA, and roleplay. I run a roleplay community and have about 10 years of experience in administering servers.