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Discord will soon offer more games and apps inside its chats

The company's releasing a new development SDK on March 18.

Discord

Discord has been experimenting with embedding apps and games directly in chats for a while, via the Activities feature. Now the company is set to launch a dedicated SDK for developers to join the chat-based fun. The Embedded App SDK rolls out on March 18 and allows devs to build experiences that are embedded in an iframe within Discord.

Putt Party app running on Discord.
Putt Party app running on Discord. (Discord)

“Plenty of Discord Developers out there have had their eyes on Activities, wondering when they could create their own,” the company wrote in a blog post. Prior to this announcement, these tools were limited to select developers. Currently, Discord users can do stuff like watch YouTube, play poker and share a whiteboard while participating in a chat. The SDK should open up the floodgates and allow for a drastic increase in the number of available shared experiences. So how long until Doom shows up?

The platform’s also bringing back app pitches. This program encourages developers to pitch app ideas and snag up to $30,000 in funding. Discord ended up funding some cool stuff last year, including a coral reef cam, a city-building sim and an art portfolio app, among others. Who knows what 2024 will bring.

Discord app tool image.
Discord app tool image. (Discord)

Finally, Discord announced that it’s experimenting with technology to allow users to add apps to their accounts, so these experiences will follow them across servers. A beta version of this tool will launch alongside the SDK on March 18. The company says that users will begin to see apps popping up “within DMs, group chats and small servers.”

These updates come just two months after the company announced a brutal round of layoffs that impacted 17 percent of its workforce. CEO Jason Citron said the cuts were necessary to put Discord “in the best position to continue building a strong and profitable business.” To that end, the company recently unveiled a partnership program with game developers to sell themed avatars and various profile effects.