Discord currently has 150 million active users, making it one of the most popular community apps around. However, it doesn't work for everyone.
With reportedly slow loading times and servers sometimes down at inconvenient moments, it's not the best and most stable option for everyone, especially businesses that rely on it.
But let’s say you haven’t encountered these problems yourself and you’re simply hunting for an alternative, where do you look? Well, here's a list of the best Discord alternatives, plus what to look for in a community app.
What to Look for in a Community App
As you begin your search for the best alternatives to Discord, you need to know what to look for.
There are a few things that make for a great community app:
A variety of communication methods, from video calling to text chat
Customisation or white-label options to build you brand
A way to organise and keep up with different conversations
A mobile and desktop app that both function well
Ways to use monetisation without involving third parties
Having all of these features in one app is a tall task, which means you'll need to scrutinise your options carefully. Let’s take a look.
The Best Discord Alternatives
Bearing all of those things in mind, here are the best Discord alternatives.
Although it's somewhat old school by today’s standards, Facebook works just fine as a Discord alternative if all you're looking for is a group chat. You can add multiple people to one and also voice and video call within it, and create an actual group on the site to complement the chat.
If you're just looking for the basic features, then there's nothing wrong with having Facebook, especially now that you can keep Messenger and delete Facebook itself if you don't want to keep up with an actual profile.
Of course, if you're looking for more features beyond the basics, then Facebook likely won't do it for you.
Facebook's main priority isn't the chat, it's the social networking part of the site, and it's never claimed to be for businesses. It's better for friends catching up than trying to keep track of a whole community.
Slack is an app further away from the world of social media and it can make a great alternative to Discord. Much like Discord itself, you can have multiple channels where people can chat and it brands itself very much as a business platform.
After all, 16% of companies around the world are now fully remote and need somewhere to connect, so it's smart marketing.
Slack also lets you store documents and resources within the app, and Slackbot can create automatic responses when people mention those resources within the chat. You'll never have to search too hard to find them.
Slack, however, doesn't have the same customisation options as other community apps, which is the main downside to the platform. It’s also notoriously hard to monetise anything. Many people are still choosing other options over Slack for these reasons.
WhatsApp is another great platform if you're just looking for a group chat. You can add people by phone number into the app and you're good to go. Also, much like the other platforms, it offers video and voice calling. It even has a web client now, which wasn't the case in the past.
WhatsApp, however, isn't great for organisations. You can't create different threads and channels without having different group chats. It also requires you to give out your phone number and make it available to everyone in the chat which you may not want to do.
There's no option to make a username on WhatsApp or register with an email, and it's much harder and more expensive to have a second phone number than another email you can use. WhatsApp isn’t ideal for hosting large communities or monetising your services, and there are no customisation options.
Many people have forgotten about Skype, but it's still a solid platform if you're looking for one of the free Discord alternatives that includes voice and video chat. Skype initially advertised itself as a video calling platform, with the chat feature coming second.
Because the chat feature comes second, it's not the best Discord alternative, though it may work for your needs if video call is your priority. You can't create threads but, much like WhatsApp, you may need multiple chats to keep track of different topics.
It does, however, offer more privacy than WhatsApp and you don't need to share your phone number, although you can choose to register with it.
Twitter is a pretty unique social media and that makes it a decent Discord alternative client. You can have group chats and you can even go live on Twitter now, letting you livestream announcements. The platform is adding more features all of the time.
However, if you're trying to use it for work or a community, the features are likely a bit too limited. You can't video or voice call on Twitter, meaning you have to take it off the platform if you want to talk face-to-face or make a voice call.
Unless you mandate that everyone's accounts are kept private, they also have a public-facing profile to tweet what they want. Private direct messages and group chats are secondary to Twitter's main purpose, so they’re not ideal for communities.
A newer Discord alternative client that may just suit the needs of businesses and communities perfectly is Ugenie.
Ugenie is the perfect balance of being able to stay connected with your team away from social media which may be a huge distraction. You can also monetise services through Ugenie, which is a feature many other platforms don't offer.
Much like Discord, you can have separate conversations and keep track of things. Unlike Discord and other platforms, there are also features like calendars and places to store resources and documents — often critical for a team who wants to keep everything in one place.
Try a Ugenie Free Trial Today
Ultimately, these are the best Discord alternatives but most of them have pros and cons — like being too focused on social media or being unable to separate conversations.
Ugenie lets you keep all of the advantages of Discord while adding some great features, like a place to store documents and resources as well as a shared calendar. Best of all, Ugenie offers a 45-day free trial so you can check out the different features available and see what the best plan for you is.
Start your free trial today and check out this powerful community app for yourself.
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