Gather 'round, bot fans and soon-to-be fans: we've got some long-anticipated news.
If a Discord server were a balanced meal, you've got your carbs that give you energy (conversation), your vitamin-rich veggies that keep you healthy (moderation), your protein to build strength over time (things to do together), and your spices that add color and personal flavor (customization). If you don't use bots today, you might be thinking bots must be... dessert, right? Something optional and daring?
The millions of people who use a bot every week on Discord already know this, but bots are actually everything on that menu — they can converse with you, protect you, offer fun games for you to play, and most importantly, make your server feel like it's made just for you. Over 30% of active servers already rely on and enjoy them today!
Bots are games and game-masters, facilitators and schedulers, bouncers and guardians, friends and — we won't judge you — someone to talk to. They can even turn your server into a place that rewards the behavior you most want to see from your community, like leveling-up users for talking to new friends.
Discord staff uses bots we made for things like organizing meetings, telling our teammates when we're on vacation, and, most importantly, sending inscrutable memes.
There are over 430,000 of them used every week on our platform. Every time you think to yourself, "Wouldn't it be great if I could just delegate this task," somewhere out there is a Discord user who's already thinking about how to do it. Our developer community is full of creative and passionate problem-solvers, and every day we're blown away at their talent, which is why for a long time we've been working on ways to connect users to more apps and bots they'll love.
This year we've done a ton of work on our official API to enable Discord Devs to bring you experiences that are easier to use, more standardized across the board, and safer.
- We've released Slash Commands, so you can see all the things a bot can do without having to remember it all in your head.
- We've enabled small-but-mighty UI upgrades like buttons, dropdown lists, and ways to integrate bot functionality directly within various menus around your server.
- We've built more robust policies around data and privacy, permissions, and verification — so you can view what a bot accesses and ultimately feel good about what you're adding to your server.
But here's the thing: if you come across a cool bot in someone else's server and want to add it to your own, the only way to get it is by heading to your search engine of choice to go find it. Hunting around the internet for a link to a bot (that you've already found, and like, and are using!) is a pretty weird thing to have to do.
Starting today, bot user profiles can have an 'Add to Server' button! Once the developer has enabled it to show, you'll be able to add their bot to your server of choice directly from its profile, without having to leave Discord to go find it in the wild.
For developers, head on over to the Developer Portal and add a default invite link for your bot if you want to include this in your bot's user profile.
The big news
If you're thinking to yourself, "adding a bot from its profile sounds rad, but I also want to be able to search for and browse community-built apps on Discord too!" Well, we are officially announcing that in the spring of 2022, Discord will have app discovery!
So for all you developers out there, listen up! There are a few things you should make sure to do in the next few weeks and months if you want to be eligible to be listed in the directory of apps that users will explore on our platform:
- First, only verified apps will have the option of being discoverable, which as of today is around 12,000. We want to make sure the apps we show users have already been approved to scale past 100 servers so no one gets stuck.
- We know that some of you may need to make preparations for a sudden surge of traffic to your super cool bots - so fear not, we'll have a way for you to opt-in to discoverability in the Developer Portal. (This will make sure no one accidentally comes across your cousins' side project they made just to tease you. Awkward.)
- Secondly, you'll want to make sure you're following best practices for Slash Commands and interactions (e.g. buttons instead of reactions), as well as requested any Privileged Intents you need if you're offering something unique and meaningful enough to merit special access. (Yep, that includes Message Content.)
- Lastly, you'll want to make sure your app is dressed in its Sunday Best: now is a good time to do any housekeeping on your profile images, websites, support servers, command names - or whatever your bot needs to be ready for its first day at school.
To prepare for browsing, we of course need to classify you correctly — so starting today, you can add up to five tags to help describe your apps in the Developer Portal. Note, although these won't show publicly, make sure you're using them wisely and accurately so you're all set to go - they'll help us carve out your spot in app discovery, so be thoughtful!
A heartfelt App-reciation
We want to say to all our Developers that it's been an absolute privilege to watch you create and thrive for the past few years since we released our API. This moment marks a huge step, not just for you and us, but for the 150 million people who use Discord every month to spend quality time with friends, family, fellow students, fellow gamers, and fellow lovers of obscure shoes.
If you're a developer, make sure you're joining us in the official Discord Developer server for monthly events, demos, and inspiration.
If you're a bot fan, get hyped.
And if you've never used an app or bot before and are thinking it'd be nice to poke around the most popular and creative bots ever made for Discord, your time will come... Soon.