Discord has become the latest company to take a page from Clubhouse. It’s introducing a feature called Stage Channels that allows you to broadcast a live audio conversation to a group of listeners without worrying about people talking over one another and some of the other pitfalls that come with traditional voice channels. So-called Stage moderators are there to make sure everything goes smoothly. They have the power to mute or even remove someone as they’re speaking. As an audience member, you can indicate when you want to talk. A moderator will move you to the speaking queue and then back to the audience once you’ve shared your piece.
At the moment, Stage channels are only available to Community servers. Unlike a server you might set up for you and your friends to get together and chat, those come with special requirements. For example, Discord says Communities must have clearly posted rules for members to follow. Still, even with those guidelines, Stage channels are widely accessible. As things currently stand, Clubhouse is only available on iOS, and someone needs to invite you to the platform before you can use the app. By contrast, Discord — and, as a result, Stage channels — is available on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android and through the web. And unlike say Facebook or Twitter, the feature feels like a natural fit for Discord. It was already a place for audio conversations. And since the start of the pandemic, people and organizations have flocked to the service to host events like book clubs and concerts.