Remember When Skype Was … Better?
Discord has grown significantly over the past year, moving from a service used by gamers to chat during or about games or developers reaching out to their communities to one of the more popular platforms for people with similar interests to gather and talk. When Discord first launched it seemed unlikely that it’s users would include sewing circles or students studying and working on projects together but that is exactly what has happened. This rapid growth has not gone unnoticed, as evidenced by Microsoft’s offer of over 10 billion dollars to purchase the company.
You may remember a time before Skype was purchased by Microsoft for around 8.5 billion, when you could develop and integrate extra features into the peer to peer calling service. Since the purchase, Microsoft removed the ability for third party apps to be incorporated into the free version of Skype, reserving that flexibility for the paid for Skype For Business which is part of O359. Even that version of Skype won’t support add-ons nor extensions after July 31st, when Skype will cease to exist. It is possible that this might not happen to Discord if Microsoft did purchase it, but the general historical trend suggests otherwise.
Another possibility is for Discord to launch an IPO and go public; a popular choice for this type of service but possibly not the wisest as their books do not show a profit margin large enough to attract investors. They will need to do something, currently there are about 140 million monthly active users and no matter what the sales people try to tell you, the cloud still costs money. With a huge influx of users but not a concurrent increase in income Discord has some tough choices to make in the coming years and many of them may not be attractive to it’s users.
Discord has been talking to potential buyers and software giant Microsoft is in the running, but no deal is imminent, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Discord is more likely to go public than sell itself, one person said.