Older internet inhabitants might not be closely acquainted with Discord. The platform’s premise is simple; Discord allows users to create private servers where they can chat, play games, and even video call with their friends. The platform’s basic concept was created over a decade ago, but it really gained popularity after it was sold and repurposed as Discord in 2011. Since then, millions of users have created hundreds of thousands of servers with varying membership numbers.
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The appeal of Discord for friend groups and niche communities isn’t hard to understand. Reddit communities, study groups, and even speed-dating organizations have succeeded in gaining traction on Discord. The platform’s intuitive design makes it easy for groups of any background to find a sense of community on their private servers. This is one of several reasons why Discord continues to grow in popularity each year, and why the platform doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
But one of the more fascinating developments of Discord has been its use by popular influencers, YouTubers, and other online personalities. The platform works closely with Steam to integrate a gaming and streaming experience, so popular gamers were some of the first folks to really capitalize by building their own community fanbases on Discord. But since then, influencers from all niches have begun to see just how unique of an opportunity Discord provides.
Joel Poe is one exceptional example of a unique internet influencer who forged his own online community using this revolutionary platform. Joel is a singer, songwriter, and poet whose work has been particularly popular among members of the “emo” subculture. Poe got his start on the internet using Tumblr, where he posted all sorts of GIFs, song lyrics, and more.
Poe recently founded “Joe Poe Vampire Academy,” a discord server which has quickly blossomed into a community 690 members strong. He says that the Discord server has been a “super fun experience,” and that it has allowed his fans to “share videos or pics, have discussions, and overall interact with one another.” In some ways, Poe’s story really demonstrates the unique opportunity Discord provides to internet stars.
Oftentimes, communication between stars and their fans is a one-way street. Comment sections allow creators to engage with their communities of fans, but the average content creator seldom has the time to consistently speak to fans on traditional platforms. But with Discord, communication is naturally reciprocal. In Joel Poe’s community, he frequently joins the voice chat, posts in the general chat channel, and even gives his fans sneak-peeks into his latest works.
Communities like “Joe Poe Vampire Academy” are changing the way fans interact with their favorite artists. As social media and gaming continues to become a more dominant part of our society, social media sites like Discord are going to become an essential element of how we engage with the content creators we love and admire.
With the newest generation of community-based social media companies, the relationship between fans and internet personalities is truly a two-way street.