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How To Build An App Like Discord And Become A Market Leader

How To Build An App Like Discord And Become A Market Leader

The Discord app was created to provide an almost physical competing environment for online game enthusiasts who want to have an interactive gaming session. But, unlike other messaging apps, what was supposed to be a real-time communication channel for online gamers has become a messaging app.

The popularity of Discord as a voice/video chatting app has prompted many tech entrepreneurs to create similar apps. This article was written to help you understand the Discord app, its features, and how to create one. Please bear with us as we walk you through the steps of creating a Discord-like app.

What is Discord, and how does it work?

Discord is a unique messenger app that provides free voice, video, and text chat to over 150 million users worldwide. Users of the Discord app can communicate, collaborate, and hang out with their communities, friends, and families. Although the Discord app is not limited in terms of size, it is most commonly used by a small group of people who share similar interests and preferences. For instance, a team of workers in an organization or firm, students seminar or project groups, family groups, and social hangout groups.

Must-have Features of a Voice Chat Application

  1. Servers and channels

Discord app offers users the opportunity to hang out through servers and channels. Each server can accommodate as many as 5000 members. Also, a server can house as many as 500 channels. The servers on the Discord app contain nearly every topic you can think of, and if you don't find a topic of interest, you are allowed to create one and share your unique invite link via social media for others to join.

The Discord app allows users to customize the "join settings" to suit their security needs. For instance, server admins can set security measures to prevent spammers and bots. 

  1. Roles and permissions

If you want your voice-over IP application to stand out, you should make roles and permission management features as flexible as practicable. On Discord, you can customize roles and permission on servers and channels jointly or individually. As seen on conventional chatting apps, the admins of servers and channels can assign roles to different individuals. These assigned roles are given unique permissions to organize and manage the affairs of a group.

Discord offers up to 30 resolution choices, and you are free to blend multiple resolutions to get your preferences.

  1. Chatting Feature

The Discord chatting feature is optimized for both individual and group communications. Discord used  WEBRTC(web real-time communications) to build low latency high-quality voice and video chat service, allowing users to voice chat and video chat with several other users in one go.

Although a voice and video chatting app, the Discord chatting feature allows users to switch to text chatting at will.

  1. File Sharing

Developing a Discord-like app that offers a combination of voice chats, video chats, and text chats, including a file sharing feature, is pertinent. However, it would help if you researched your target audience activities to determine a reasonable file size limit for your app.

  1. Message History

In the setting of most chat apps, the message automatically gets deleted after a specified time. The reason for this isn't restricted to the need to offer secrecy and privacy to users but also to ensure the app storage doesn't get overburdened with chunks of messages. However, if you need your Discord-like app to have a corporate and general appeal, you need a message history feature with unlimited storage. The importance of revisiting communications from way back cannot be taken for granted in the business environment. 

In addition, if you decide to make provisions for unlimited storage, don't forget to include a search function to improve the user experience with your app.

  1. Screen Sharing

One key selling point of Discord is the almost physical experience users enjoy when communicating with friends and families. Nothing drives home this point as much as the screen-sharing feature. Sharing your computer's or phone's screen with your friends, family, teammates, and colleagues while you're talking to them will make it easier to convey a message. Users can have a real-time view of what others are doing like they were beside them.

  1. Notification

This is a must-have feature for any Discord-like app. This feature helps keep users abreast with recent happenings on the app. However, a provision should be made to allow users to manage their notifications as they deem fit. That way, it won't constitute a distraction.

  1. Integration

The world is moving fast, and anything to help give users a seamless experience is a huge plus. Making provisions for social media integrations that users can use to access their accounts isn't a bad idea. Also, other third-party services like Twitch or Steam for gamers will help your app sell.

Explicit Guide To Know About Creating An App Like Discord

Do you think you have a bright voice/video chatting app idea that can rival Discord but don't know how to bring it to life? Here is how to.

Step#1: Conduct research on the target market

Yes, having a great Discord-like app idea is cool but certainly not enough. You need to perform in-depth on your target market. In this stage, the following should be your focus:

  • Find out your competitors in the market and what they are doing to stay afloat in the market.
  • Research the age bracket of your users, their geographical locations, and their choice of device. Find anything about your potential user that can give you an edge over other brands.
  • Research on user perception of current apps, pain points, and trends that are redefining the voice/video app market.

Step#2: Develop a Workable Monetization Strategy

Do not get carried away by the euphoria of creating a Discord-like app that you forget to develop an income generation strategy for your app idea. Your monetization strategy should reflect users' preferences from your market research. Some widely used monetization techniques include:

  • Subscription technique
  • Freemium technique
  • Advertising technique
  • Ad blocker technique
  • Third-party partnership technique etc.

To help you understand these techniques, kindly click here.

Step#3: Hire a Development Team

The success of your app will partly depend on your choice of a development company. In one of our articles, we gave a step-by-step breakdown of hiring the right dedicated team. You can check it out here. But for a start, ensure you hire a development team with deep industry knowledge, technical know-how, and experience building the Discord-like app.

Also, ensure the company you are working with has in-house Q.A engineers. This will save you the cost of having to engage independent Q.A engineers.

Step#4: Start with an MVP

This is a sure way to develop a Voice/Video chatting app without incurring huge financial costs. In your MVP, ensure that all the above-listed features are included. Use your MVP to get first-hand feedback on users' perceptions of your app. Use the feedback to improve your app's efficiency.

Any other complex specifications can be included in your app as you grow and penetrate the market.

Step#5: Market your App

Marketing is the lifeline of any business venture. And that is why we included it as a part of your development processes. A good idea without a marketing plan to push it into the market will only end in the team and investors getting frustrated with the project. But it doesn't have to be that way if you apply the right marketing tactics to your product. Below are some tactics that can help:

  • Build a marketing campaign focused on your app's unique selling points(USP) and Universal value proposition(UVP).
  • Engage influencers to help you with a popularity boost
  • Utilize the power of social media to advertise your app's USP and UVP
  • Organize group-based events like start-up conferencing and meetups to sell your app to industry leaders, investors, and potential users.
  • Get endorsement deals from industry experts and leaders from the corporate and entertainment settings to build the trustworthiness and reliability of your app.

Step#6: Test and Deploy

Testing your voice/video chatting app should not be left till the development process is completed. It should be done alongside development. This will help your team of developers arrest any code inconsistencies or technical errors on time. Employ synthetic testing to imitate users' activities on the app and fix any issue you find.

After deployment, don't stop testing and upgrading your Discord-like app. You can employ RUM(Real user monitoring) testing to monitor users' activities on your app in real time, and address issues as users encounter them.

The Bottom Line

Developing an app like Discord can be complex and quite challenging. But the returns for developing it right and penetrating the market are worthwhile. Sticking to this guide will help you scale developmental bottlenecks and help you reach your goal fast.

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