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.