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Discord opens up to games and apps embedded in its chat app

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Discord will soon allow developers to build new games and apps that can be used directly in its chat app. A selection of minigames and apps have been available to Discord users for months now, but starting March 18th, all Discord developers will get access to a new Embedded App SDK that lets them build these special embedded apps.

Discord has used its Activities feature to enable apps like YouTube, promote minigames like poker, and even encourage users to play with a shared whiteboard experience. These apps all appear as an embedded iframe inside Discord, but they’ve been limited to select developers so far.

We’re going to see a lot more minigames and apps inside Discord.
Image: Discord

“Plenty of Discord Developers out there have had their eyes on Activities, wondering when they could create their own,” says Discord in a blog post. “Starting March 18th, Discord Developers will be able to build new games and experiences that can be played directly on the platform with our new Embedded App SDK.”

The SDK will open up this Activities section of Discord to many more developers, so we’re bound to see a lot more minigames that can be played directly inside Discord chats. “We want Discord to grow into the best place for developers to do it all: build, share, distribute, be discovered, and monetize their work,” says Discord. “We want Discord to be where your App gets its start, where it finds a home in the communities of people around the world, and where it can be easily shared between friends.”

Discord is also experimenting with a way to allow users to add apps to their accounts so they roam across servers. Developers will be able to enable their apps for accounts, and the experiment will launch alongside the app SDK on March 18th.

Discord is experimenting with apps that roam across accounts and servers.
Image: Discord

Discord is also bringing back its app pitches, where developers can pitch prototype app ideas and secure up to $30,000 in funding. Last year, a couple of AI tools won some funding money, alongside an app for artists, a coral reef cam app, and a city-building minigame.

All of these dev-focused improvements come just weeks after Discord announced it was laying off 17 percent of its employees. Discord is trying new developer experiences to improve user growth, including partnering with game developers to sell themed avatars and profile effects.



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