Discord Ads: Gamers Upset Platform No Longer ‘Ad-Free’

The once popular “ad-free” platform that gamers worldwide cherished is set to introduce Discord sponsored ads this week. This move, aimed at boosting revenue, aligns with other tech giants leaning into paid promotions.

Discord Ads Promote Sponsored Quests

Last month, the platform unveiled its plan for ‘Sponsored Quests’, enabling users to earn in-game items by completing quests while their friends spectate. According to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), this program is set to launch imminently, with Discord ads appearing in the bottom left corner of users’ screens.

Discord Sponsored Ads

Similar to Fortnite or Apex Legends livestreams, gamers will need to stream themselves undertaking an in-game task provided by the advertiser while at least one friend watches to earn rewards. The company’s foray into Discord ads has led to a recruitment drive for ad-sales positions, with the company looking to hire over a dozen professionals.

Despite this shift, the social media platform emphasizes that users will retain control over their ad experience, allowing them to disable Discord sponsored ads through their settings. This move represents a significant departure from Discord’s historical reliance on its Nitro subscription service for revenue, which provides users with perks like large file uploads for a monthly fee ranging from $2.99 to $9.99.

However, the decision to incorporate Discord sponsored ads has raised concerns among some observers. Meghana Dhar, a former executive at Instagram and tech adviser, warns that the shift could erode user trust and drive them towards alternative platforms.

While the company’s revenue has soared to $600 million annually, quadrupling from 2020 figures, the company has faced its share of challenges.

In January, the popular chat platform announced layoffs affecting 17% of its workforce, attributing the decision to rapid expansion that led to inefficiencies. CEO Jason Citron underscored the necessity of the cuts to streamline operations and enhance organizational agility.

“This is a decision we did not take lightly, but it is one that we have conviction in to better serve our users, our business and our mission over the long term,” Citron wrote.

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