Reem Makari
Apr 3, 2024

Discord rolls out ‘sponsored quests’ on its platform in an effort to increase revenue

Social media community explores in-app ads for the first time, despite company’s CEO repeatedly stating that the platform will not rely on advertisers.

Discord rolls out ‘sponsored quests’ on its platform in an effort to increase revenue

Discord, an instant messaging and social platform popularly used by gamers, is officially rolling out ads on its platforms with the launch of ‘Sponsored Quests’, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

‘Sponsored Quests’ allow game developers to create an experience with the Discord team for users to play and win rewards and stream to their friends. According to the WSJ, ads for the ‘Sponsored Quests’ started to appear on Discord’s free platform on 30 March, encouraging users to play the games to win gifts. 

Users will be targeted on the Discord platform based on their gaming habits, age, and location and appear on the bottom left corner of the screen. Users will also allegedly have the option to manually turn off ads through their settings, although that has not been confirmed. 

In a blog post published on Discord on 7 March this year, Discord’s senior vice President of Product Peter Sellis said that ‘Sponsored Quests’ on the platform will be open to more game developers after seeing great feedback from partners and success with previous experiences such as the May 4th Fortnite Quest. 

Sellis also added that Discord has also started to work on selling themed profile effects and avatar decorations in its Shop, created in partnership with game developers. Revenue for the purchases is shared between Discord and the game developers. 

Sellis wrote in the blog post: “It’s becoming really difficult for game developers to break through and bring their ideas to life as a successful business. 

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

“2024 began with some incredible game launches, and it looks like it’s going to be a really fun year. We’re excited to help developers bring their ideas to life so they can build stronger businesses in ways that make it more fun for everyone to discover and play games.”

Discord’s CEO Jason Citron previously shared a strong stance against hosting advertisements on the platform, having told NPR in an interview from April 2021 that the company takes privacy “very seriously”. PMW has reached out to Discord for a comment. 

Citron said: “We believe that people's data is their data and that people should feel comfortable and safe to have conversations and that their data is not going to be used against them in any way that is improper.

“We take privacy very seriously. We do not scan peoples' messages. We do not read them. However, Discord does not have end-to-end encryption. So, if you break our community guidelines, we will go investigate. And if we do find that you are doing that, we will ban you, so that we take privacy very seriously. But we also have a trade-off where we also take safety very seriously.” 

Other social media platforms that are increasing monetisation opportunities  include Reddit, which recently became a public company after experiencing a successful initial public offering (IPO) in March of this year.

As part of that, the platform will need to start looking at increasing its content moderation in order to make it a viable platform for advertisers and to appease its shareholders.


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