Discord, the popular communication platform, is stepping up its game with the expansion of its in-app shop. This move allows users who do not subscribe to the Nitro premium service to purchase custom avatars and other virtual items to personalize their profiles. Previously, only Nitro subscribers were able to access and purchase these cosmetic updates. However, starting today, anyone can buy these virtual items, although Nitro members will receive a discount.
Discord is expanding its in-app virtual shop, allowing all users to purchase custom avatars and other virtual items. Previously, only Nitro subscribers had access to the shop. This move aligns with Discord’s approach of offering attractive features through its premium Nitro subscription tier, rather than relying on traditional advertising. The company also aims to support community monetization, potentially by enabling server owners to sell their own digital goods in the future.
Enhancing User Profiles
The virtual shop, accessible through the profile settings page, features two types of digital decorations. First, avatar decorations allow users to add fantasy, anime, or other themed customizations to their profile pictures. Second, profile effects offer flashy animations, such as fluttering cherry blossoms or dramatic shattering glass, to enhance the visual appeal of a profile page. Users can purchase these items and select which ones to display based on their mood or preferences.
Discord’s decision to expand access to its virtual shop reflects the growing popularity of custom avatars and digital goods as revenue generators in virtual social spaces. This trend has been exemplified by the success of games like Fortnite, which generated $50 million from a single set of in-game skins alone.
Avoiding Traditional Advertising
Unlike many traditional social media platforms, Discord has chosen not to inundate its chat app with advertising. Instead, the company focuses on making its Nitro subscription tier attractive to users by offering a combination of fun customizations and functional perks. Nitro subscribers, available in two tiers, can enjoy features like custom emojis, larger upload sizes, and HD video streaming. This strategy has resonated with casual and power users alike.
Supporting Community Monetization
While Discord currently creates all avatar decorations and animations, the company has expressed interest in empowering its community to monetize the platform. This could involve allowing server owners to sell their own digital goods. For now, the expansion of the in-app shop provides a new revenue stream for Discord, but the company remains committed to involving its community in future developments.