According to Discord's Senior Vice President of Product, Peter Sellis, the ads will be displayed in the bottom left corner of the client and targeted based on users' gaming activity, age, and location. The company plans to hire over a dozen sales staff to manage the new advertising business, signaling a departure from its initial stance of avoiding ad revenue reliance, a strategy that differentiated it from many large social platforms.


Initial advertisers will be video game developers, offering users rewards for completing in-game tasks. While this may improve player engagement, there are concerns about potential privacy violations and degraded user experience, which could lead to an audience exodus. Discord will allow users to disable advertisements in the settings, offering a compromise between monetization needs and community preferences. However, this raises questions about balancing the platform's commercial interests and user interests.

Since 2015, Discord has grown from a niche gaming platform to a large-scale service with over 200 million active monthly users, including students, investors, and friends seeking online connection. Attempts to monetize Discord's popularity have been ongoing for years. Discussions around a potential $10 billion Microsoft sale in 2021 and a subsequent $500 million investment round, valuing the platform at $15 billion, reflect its financial growth ambitions.

The introduction of advertising on Discord reflects a broader trend in consumer tech, where companies seek to balance revenue generation and user loyalty maintenance. It remains to be seen if Discord can preserve community trust despite these business model changes.

Main image: Ensiplay