Discord, the online chat service, has announced that it will change the way it identifies users by asking everyone to create a unique username following an “@” symbol. Previously, users were identified by a name preceding a hash and four numbers. The change will come in line with Twitter, Instagram and other platforms. However, the change has been criticized online, with people questioning the reasons for it.
Discord has said that it made the changes to its username system to make the platform more accessible and user-friendly for both new and existing users. The order in which people will be able to pick their new usernames will be determined by the age of their accounts – oldest first. The changes will initially be voluntary but eventually, everyone will have to move over to the new system.
Discord, the popular online chat service with 150 million monthly active users worldwide, recently announced a new username system. This system requires users to create a unique username following an “@” symbol, bringing it in line with Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms. While the change has been criticized online, Discord has claimed that it will make the platform more accessible and user-friendly for both new and existing users. In this post, we will dive deeper into Discord’s new username system, what it means for users, and why some people are unhappy with the change.
The Reasoning Behind the Discord’s Change:
According to a Discord representative, the change was made after hearing from many users about the challenges associated with connecting with friends on the platform. The current username system, which includes a hash and four numbers, can make it difficult for users to find and connect with each other. The new system, which requires a unique username following an “@” symbol, is intended to make Discord more accessible and user-friendly for both new and existing users.
The Controversy in Discord:
Despite the intentions behind the change, the announcement has been met with criticism from users. Some have called it a “huge step backward,” while others have compared it to a telephone network changing its customers’ phone number to their full name. One popular illustrator, Aura, has even warned that users “run the risk” of being impersonated if they fail to secure their username. The order in which people will be able to pick their new usernames will be determined by the age of their accounts – oldest first. They must be alphanumeric and can include underscores and full stops but, unlike Twitter, no capital letters.
The Old Username System:
Before the new system, users were identified by a name preceding a hash and four numbers. This made it possible for multiple people to adopt the same name, and it also made it harder to search for people unless you had their exact handle. Despite its occasional annoyance, the old system felt fitting for the platform’s greater amount of intimacy and privacy. It helped Discord become a great hangout space, especially for gaming.
Discord’s New Username System:
Discord’s new username system removes discriminators and introduces new, unique usernames (@username) and display names. Display names will still exist and be the primary way people are identified in chat, but the underlying username will become similar to the kind used everywhere else. However, the new system will require users to create a unique username following an “@” symbol, bringing it in line with Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms.
Possible Issues with the New System:
The new system could open up more possibilities for fraud and impersonation, as we’ve seen with the recent hellfire on Twitter. There’s also been speculation that some people will now start camping on high-profile usernames that belong to streamers and influencers on other platforms. But the biggest issue is that there’s no clear benefit to users with the change.
The Impact on Users in Discord:
For many users, the change represents a significant shift in the way they use Discord. The current system, which includes a hash and four numbers, has become a defining feature of the platform. It allows users to adopt the same name as others and makes it harder to search for people unless you have their exact handle. This feature has helped to create a sense of intimacy and privacy on the platform, which has made it a popular hangout space, particularly for gamers.
The new system, which requires a unique username, could potentially open up more possibilities for fraud and impersonation, as we have seen with recent incidents on Twitter. There is also concern that high-profile usernames belonging to streamers and influencers on other platforms could be targeted by others.
Discord’s Plans for the Future:
Discord is a for-profit startup that needs to continually scale to get bought or eventually go public. Like Slack, it can’t just be really good at private messaging and voice channels, it seemingly needs to be a huge social platform all its own. There are already genuine concerns about how the company harvests user data and might potentially exploit it to train AI chat tools. Many of the better features are locked behind the service’s monthly Nitro subscription, which offers various perks and benefits.
Discord has plans to improve the new username system by allowing users to change their usernames more frequently than before. Currently, users can only change their usernames once every 30 days, but Discord is considering reducing that time frame to make it easier for users to update their information. They are also working on introducing a verification system to prevent impersonation, fraud, and other issues that might arise with the new system.
The Potential Benefits:
Despite the controversy, there are potential benefits to the new system. For example, it could make it easier for users to find and connect with each other. It could also make it easier for users to remember each other’s usernames, as they will no longer be required to remember a string of numbers. Additionally, the new system could potentially make it easier for Discord to integrate with other platforms that use a similar username system.
The Future of Discord:
Discord has become a popular platform for gamers and non-gamers alike, with many using it to arrange group activities and find communities based on shared interests. Its success has led to integrations with platforms such as PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, and its popularity has only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced many people to stay at home. However, the move to change the username system has raised questions about the future of the platform. Some users fear that Discord is trying to become a huge social platform all its own, rather than just a messaging and voice chat app.
There are already concerns about how Discord collects and uses user data, and some fear that the move to the new username system could lead to further exploitation of user data. Additionally, many of the better features of the platform are locked behind a paid subscription, and some users worry that the changes to the username system could be a precursor to further monetization of the platform. Others worry that the new system will make it more difficult for users to maintain anonymity on the platform, which has been a key feature for many who use Discord for sensitive or personal conversations.
The move to change Discord’s username system has sparked controversy among users, with concerns about the potential impact on user privacy, data collection, and the future direction of the platform. While there are potential benefits to the new system, such as easier name recognition and integration with other platforms, it remains to be seen how the change will affect the platform’s user base and overall experience. Ultimately, it will be up to Discord to address these concerns and ensure that the changes are made in a way that benefits users and maintains the platform’s core features and values.
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