Discord Logo

Discord, like Microsoft Teams and Slack, is a communications platform that was primarily built for the gaming community. It offers essential tools for the industry and features many others can leverage. Unfortunately, some feature gaps might be fatal for non-gaming enterprises.

For Content Rights? No.

We’ll start with the biggest strike against using Discord for business. According to the company’s Terms of Service, it “reserves the right to remove and permanently delete Your Content from the Service with or without notice for any reason or no reason.”

So, Discord has no legal responsibility to make sure your content is there tomorrow morning. For a developer who sells his game through Discord or a streamer who has an outlet interrupted, this can be a hassle. But for a business that relies on Discord to deliver its messages and content securely to employees or customers, this could be fatal.

There haven’t been enough horror stories yet to prevent any type of business from using Discord as an alternative platform for community engagement.

However, you probably shouldn’t use it as a company-wide collaboration and communications tool. Discord would first need to release an amended version of its software and Terms of Service that caters directly to enterprise-level people.

RELATED: What Is Discord, and Is It Only for Gamers?

For Visibility? Yes.

Discord’s biggest advantage for businesses outside the gaming industry is the high level of visibility it achieves through heavy integration. While privacy concerns are the issue of the day, the ability to see what your co-workers and customers are doing can be an asset.

There are countless tools and bots that can give your server ultimate control regarding what kind of information people with various rights and permissions can see and do on the platform.

Discord’s Rich Presence feature allows you to see which program someone on your server is using, as well as certain metadata about that program. You can even interact with it in a limited capacity.

It all depends on how you, and your staff or customers want to interact (and how much time you want to spend configuring server privileges and access).

A Discord community interface.

If this kind of visibility could enhance your business model, there’s no better place than Discord. Otherwise, Microsoft Teams or Slack might be a better option for your enterprise.

For Usability? Maybe

Discord certainly doesn’t lack features. Unfortunately, though, for most businesses, the features it has rarely align with what most digital workspaces need. For example, Discord has native integration with Twitch but not Microsoft Office. The sharing limits in the free version of the app are quite low, although its streaming capacity is quite high.

Discord takes security issues seriously. However, its naturally open and visible structure makes it impossible for companies to easily sort, store, or send files through more effective structures, like SharePoint or OneDrive. This might make Discord a viable option for some collaborations or customer-facing social media platforms, but not both simultaneously.

A Discord server can be public or private. However, even Discord’s servers don’t provide any separation between what internal staff can see versus what clients, shareholders, or potential customers might see.

Like Reddit, Discord’s suite of user-focused features makes it perfectly suitable for businesses that want VoIP, text, and video chat with features only Discord offers for people in the gaming industry.

Most companies, however, communicate one way with its employees, and another with its customers. Within the gaming industry, a majority of the larger companies conduct internal communications through apps built specifically for that purpose, not Discord.

This relegates Discord to a public-facing role that’s still important to a company’s ability to communicate effectively with its customers, wherever they might be.

The Verdict? No, But…

Discord is advertised in most app stores as “Chat for Gamers.” The app does boast a huge amount of unique features that can be absolutely vital for game developers, publishers, journalists, players, and community and event organizers. Many of these features would be warmly welcomed in Slack or Microsoft Teams.

Unfortunately, Discord’s usefulness among companies that don’t stream on Twitch or need community sounding boards is quite low when compared to other industry standards.

Joel Cornell Joel Cornell
Joel Cornell is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He's spent twelve years writing professionally, working on everything from technical documentation at PBS to video game content for GameSkinny. Joel covers a bit of everything technology-related, including gaming and esports. He's honed his skills by writing for other industries, including in architecture, green energy, and education.
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