Steam Looks to Take Down Discord With New Chat Experience

Steam is launching a brand new chat experience for its client in an effort to take down Discord. The new chat experience features a major upgrade that essentially eliminates the need to use Discord if you are a gamer.

Steam is super-powering its chat experience with upgrades to group chats. Users can now create large group chats, with options to create separate channels, almost exactly like Discord servers. The chat experience has also been upgraded with new inline previews for videos, pictures, GIFs, tweets, and more. Users have the option to create a group for a short period, or make groups persistent, turning them into larger services like Discord servers.

More importantly: Steam now lets you make voice calls with friends, even in groups. The feature works almost exactly liked you would expect a voice calling system to work, so there is not much to see here other than the fact that Steam’s chat experience is now a solid alternative to Discord. The new experience even features an improved design that makes managing your chats and friends lists easier to manage, with a new Invisible status option (again, available on Discord) that lets you appear offline. Like Discord, the new chatting experience is available on the web, too.

But here is the thing: will anyone really use Steam over Discord? Probably not. Discord has slowly become the industry standard for gamers and streamers — with powerful third-party integrations and a modern-take on a communication platform gamers, Steam really doesn’t stand a chance here. Sure, the new experience is going to be a lot better than the constrained system from the past, but it’s a little too late to lure gamers away from Discord. In fact, with more than 130 million users and 19 million daily users, Discord could soon look to replace Steam with a digital game store.

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Conversation 15 comments

  • OwenM

    Premium Member
    24 July, 2018 - 7:16 pm

    <p>How does this work for non-steam games? The thing about Discord is it works across all games including those not on Steam. I also use it on console games by running Discord from my smartphone. Seems like Valve have a steep uphill battle here. </p>

    • Martin Pelletier

      Premium Member
      24 July, 2018 - 7:21 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#295209">In reply to OwenM:</a></em></blockquote><p>Omg Vavle just woked up? :)</p><p><br></p><p>First thing I did, closed the new chat when I booted Steam. All my friends are already on Discord. I don't think that the new chat will change anything. </p>

    • kjb434

      Premium Member
      24 July, 2018 - 9:49 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#295209">In reply to OwenM:</a></em></blockquote><p>Discord is also heavily used for live Twitch non-game broadcasts since it'll continue to function when the broadcasts are over. Allows for the community to stage engaged.</p>

  • Rycott

    Premium Member
    24 July, 2018 - 7:36 pm

    <p>I barely want to trust Steam with my games let alone anything else.</p>

  • kjb434

    Premium Member
    24 July, 2018 - 9:48 pm

    <p>As soon as this updated, I had to go into the chat client to disable all the notifications options so I don't get interruptions.</p>

  • bmatusz

    Premium Member
    24 July, 2018 - 10:22 pm

    <p>There are also a lot of non-gamer uses for Discord. I organize a screenwriting group and we use Discord to share pages, provide feedback, and host regular group feedback calls. We are just one of many such groups out there. I'm not going to ask people to install the full Steam client only to use a portion of it for chat.</p><p><br></p><p>We tried a combination of Slack/Skype for three months and it did not work out. Discord provides a one stop shop with built-in calling at the free tier and clients for iOS, macOS, Android, Windows, and browsers. Slack requires $12/user/month for calls and the modern Skype UX is a steep hill to climb even for myself. </p>

  • Rob_Wade

    25 July, 2018 - 11:00 am

    <p>So, I use Discord, but my problem with it is that it "doesn't care" about what game you're playing. I might as well be talking on my phone to people. I play Elite Dangerous in VR. The ONLY comm system that doesn't take me out of the immersive experience is the in-game comms for ED. Discord takes me out of it and it requires me to actually get out of VR just to get it set up….same with Steam's chat system. The best chat system would allow me to stay in the VR experience 100% of the time.</p>

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