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Illustration by Vincent Maresca

Additional capabilities place Discord on top

When the school day ends, students slip into a night, a weekend, a week, or even months of break. During their time away from school, students are always looking for platforms to keep in touch with their friends and peers. Two of the biggest and most preferred platforms are Skype and Discord. Discord is the best option logistically and communicatively.

Skype has been with us for nearly 15 years and has totaled over 74 million users. The key argument for Skype is its simplicity. Skype has straightforward icons which appeal to the non-tech savvy bunch of students. Skype is easy to learn and simple to use. Within moments of opening the application, you can already set up a call with ease.
On the other hand, Discord, an emerging social platform initially released two years ago, already has over 25 million users. Originally for gaming, but looking to appeal to the mass population, Discord is able to do everything Skype can do and much more. Three key features set Discord on a completely different level.
First, Discord users are able to add free and paid bots, programs per se, to their servers. Although there are multiple functions of bots, the mainstream bots added to servers are music and entertainment bots. Music bots, with Youtube as their source, connect to occupied voice channels and play queues of requested music. Entertainment bots are simply bots that enable in-chat gaming. Some games that are applicable are trivia and “Who’s That Pokémon!” Such bots create feelings of amusement and competition within text channels.

Second, users have the ability to deafen themselves, mute certain individuals, and adjust the output volume of certain individual users. This proves great convenience when users do not have control over their microphone sensitivity and are trying to hear others more or not hear specific individuals. To add onto Discord’s audio capabilities, Discord also has a ‘text-to-speech’ function that allows users to speak in voice channels without a microphone.

Lastly, within a Discord server, server owners are able to create multiple voice and text channels, personally name them, and optionally applying certain permissions. Having a multitude of channels only augments the organization of the server by separating different topics. Additionally, it could prevent spam from bot notifications in text channels.

Logistically, Discord is better than Skype because its average Central Processing Units and bandwidth usage is significantly lower than Skype. Thus, Skype slows both your computer and network more than Discord.   

It is evident that Discord has way more capabilities but some may come at a cost. Having all of these featurescustomizable audio settings, bots, and channelsto manage, it deems itself more difficult to use than Skype. Discord is like a TI-84 graphing calculator whilst Skype is a basic four function calculator. Although it is more difficult, it is definitely worth learning being that all these features transforms and evolves voice calls.  

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