Even though it’s one of the most popular chat applications out there, a lot of people are wondering how Discord got its name. Why is Discord called Discord and who came up with the name? Let’s take a look at the rich history behind the app and the possible reasoning for its name.
Before we dive right into the question of “why was Discord named Discord?”, it might be interesting to learn a little bit more about the company’s history.
Discord actually started as an internet voice chat (Voice over IP) platform aimed at gamers, but it quickly rose to general popularity and became of the most popular communication apps out there.
The app even managed to become extremely popular amongst a mainstream audience, partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders. Communicating with large groups of friends online has never been easier thanks to the free Discord app. Speaking of, if you’re wondering how Discord actually makes money if it’s free, check out our answer over here.
What can you do with Discord?
The short answer is, pretty much anything. The idea is that you can join numerous Discord servers (or start your own), and invite friends and other people who would like to join.
Then, you can create chat channels and voice channels, and it’s no problem at all to video call with others or share your computer screen with someone else. Live streaming for a certain audience is certainly possible as well. Texts, memes, GIFs, videos, and pretty much all kinds of media can be shared through Discord. It’s available on pretty much every imaginable platform and will soon be available for PS4 and PS5 as well – something gamers will definitely appreciate.
Each of these channels can be set up in different ways. For example, if you’re on a gaming server, you could have a channel for PlayStation games, a channel for Xbox discussions, and another channel where you share your in-game screenshots, for example. The possibilities are quite endless.
Aside from the channels, it’s also possible to direct message other users on the platform. It’s ideal if you want to have a quick chat.
The app is also widely regarded as privacy and user-friendly. They’ve made a point to encrypt voice calls on the platform, meaning that Discord can not monitor and record your conversations.
Discord also has a fairly large developer community with a ton of bots available. For example, you can use the Ayana Discord bot to listen to music, or you can use one of the Roblox Discord bots to add to your gaming experience. Don’t worry – most of these bots are totally safe too.
When was Discord founded and by who?
Two people were largely involved in the start of Discord all the way back in 2012. Jason Citron and Stanislav Vishnevsky were both no strangers to the world of social gaming and entrepreneurship and decided to join forces together to start the gaming studio Hammer & Chisel.
Did Discord start as a gaming studio?
Yes, absolutely! Hammer & Chisel released the videogame called ‘Fates Forever’ on iOS and Android and was a massively online battle game (similar to League of Legends), but the release flopped and the game was definitely not considered to be a success.
However, their gaming studio would soon evolve into something much, much bigger.
During the development process of their first game, Citron and Vishnevsky thought that it was actually pretty hard to communicate with each other when playing games (such as the aforementioned League of Legends).
A lot of the VoIP programs that were already available at the time, such as Mumble, had a noticeable impact on system performance (resulting in lower frame rates in the games), and it was also not user-friendly enough.
That’s when Citron and Vishnevsky decided to stop developing games, and start developing a new, user-friendly voice-over IP application. The idea for Discord was born.
Shortly thereafter, it didn’t take long before Discord started getting more and more success.
In fact, Discord raised funding from an incubator and even a $20 million investment from WarnerMedia, and the company is now valued at a couple of billion dollars.
Pretty incredible, right?
But the most important question still remains!
According to the Discord crew, here’s the reason why Discord is actually called Discord
You certainly don’t have to take our word for it, because none other than Jason Citron (pictured above), one of the two founders of Discord, actually answered this question more than six years ago on the official Discord blog.
One user simply asked: “How about that name?”
Citron then responded the following (h/t Discord Blog):
We picked the name because at the end of the day it just sounds cool and has to do with talking. We had a bunch of names that we bounced around, but picking a name for a product is a complicated process. You want a name that is easy to say, spell, remember, related to the function of the product, available for ™, and has a website you can get. There are a lot of things to consider and we had a number of different candidates. Discord met all the criteria that we had and we fell in love with the name.
In short, Discord is called Discord because it sounds pretty cool, and it’s also fairly natural to ask someone what their Discord name is.
According to rumors, ‘Bonfire‘ was another name that was considered for the app, but that name was shut down because the question “what’s your Bonfire” name just didn’t sound right.
Additionally, the Discord name is also quite ideal because it’s easy to remember, spell and pronounce. It’s a pretty great name for an app, in other words.
Some people on Reddit also thought that the name simply came from the noun ‘discord’. According to Oxford Languages, here’s what the noun means:
If we look up the actual meaning of the word, it’s pretty clear that it doesn’t really fit well with Discord’s mission to make communication easier. ‘Lack of harmony’ or ‘a disagreement between people’ doesn’t really fit in with the voice application.
Some other people thought that the app would be named after ‘Discourse’, which does make a lot more sense. It means “written or spoken communication or debate” – pretty perfect for this app, don’t you think?
Apparently, there also used to be some misunderstandings about the name in the early years of Discord, when it was not completely widespread yet.
When it (Discord app) first came out, there was some real serious confusion between this app and the My Little Pony character, Discord. I mean it’s still brought up (…) – jacklollz2
As this Reddit user said, ‘Discord’ is also the name of a character from the popular show My Little Pony, a dragon-like creature, the spirit of chaos, and one of the former villains of the show.
Was Discord named after the My Little Pony character? We’re not sure if the Discord founders (partially) named the app after this fictional character, but it certainly has sparked up a bit of debate on platforms such as Reddit.
Either way, the official Discord blog states that Discord is called Discord because it sounded cool and is easy to pronounce, and there’s not really much more meaning behind it. It’s a simple, but catchy name – and it seems to have worked pretty well so far.