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Discord Is Allegedly Rolling Out Sponsored Ads This Week

Discord Is Allegedly Rolling Out Sponsored Ads This Week

According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal Discord is rolling out Sponsored Quests this week. The WSJ report claimed that the paid promotions would become a permanent part of the platform and would appear in the bottom left corner of the user’s screen.

Discord Is Allegedly Rolling Out Sponsored Ads This Week

To earn rewards, the user must stream themselves completing an in-game task from the advertiser with at least one friend watching the stream. To drive the initiative, it was reported that Discord is planning to hire over a dozen people for ad sales positions.

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The development is coming after the platform had previously said that it was not going to dwell on ads like other social media platforms. However, Discord has claimed that users will have the option to turn it off in their settings.

Prior to the recent development, Discord’s main source of revenue had been its $2.99 and $9.99 Nitro subscription service which offers users perks like the ability to upload large files. The decision to run ads on Discord has been met with mixed reactions.

“[Discord] has famously promoted itself as committed to being ad-free, so this step-change could impact user trust and potentially have them looking for alternative platforms,” Meghana Dhar, former Instagram executive and tech adviser, told WSJ.

Discord Is Allegedly Rolling Out Sponsored Ads This Week

WSJ claimed Discord’s annual revenue has risen to $600 million, around quadruple of what it made in 2020. That did not stop the company from laying off 17% of its workforce in January. During that layoff round, Discord claimed its workforce grew too quickly. It was the company’s largest cut after the 4% layoff last summer.

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In an internal memo sent to employees, the company’s CEO Jason Citron said the decision was to “sharpen our focus and improve the way we work together to bring more agility to our organization”.

“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. We have to face some hard truths. We grew quickly and expanded our workforce even faster, increasing by 5x since 2020. As a result, we took on more projects and became less efficient in how we operated.”

Discord announced the expansion of Quest last month

In a post published on the company’s blog page last month, senior vice president of products Peter Sellis mentioned that the expanded Quest tool was a product of the company’s discussion with developers.

Discord Is Allegedly Rolling Out Sponsored Ads This Week

“Over the years, we’ve spent a lot of time with devs to learn about the intersection of our worlds and how we might be able to make Discord better for them, and even partner with them to bring you more cool stuff,” Sellis wrote.

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“Quests are a way for players to discover games and earn rewards for playing them on Discord. We started experimenting with them over the last year, and millions of you opted in and completed them. We’ve heard great feedback from developers who partnered with us to create them and from many of you who completed one.”

Sellis said that the sponsored Quests will be opened to more game developers and would show up “tastefully” so that users can opt-in to stream and win rewards for playing. He also mentioned that some players will be notified when a Quest is available while others “will discover it as their friends accept and embark on the Quest”.

“Developers and publishers who sponsor Quests will work with our team to build an experience that showcases their game and offers a reward tailored for their game.”