Dornubari Vizor August 10, 2021
19 Best Discord Alternatives For Creators & Their Community
If you’re an online creator (regardless of if you’re a gamer or not), chances are that you have at least considered using Discord regularly to connect to your online audience.
It’s proved itself to be an overall useful and user-friendly team communication tool that allows instant messaging, voice calls/voice chat, video calls, screen sharing, file transfer, and much more.
However, if you’ve used Discord on a more regular basis, you have probably encountered quite a few problems and a lack of features that could have substantially improved your experience — as well as the experience of your community.
Luckily, there’s a wide range of communication platforms available today — that have better functionality, offer end-to-end encryption, low latency, high-quality calls, and a MUCH better workflow for you as a creator.
This article will focus on what you as a creator are probably missing out on if Discord is your main way of communicating with your community, and how you could benefit from Discord alternatives that aim to make the experience of you and your community much more enjoyable.
This is a very self-explanatory problem. If you’re looking to charge your community members, you likely have to use a different platform to bill your community.
Not to mention that you have little to no insight into the actual engagement of your audience.
If your sell digital content, your community, and content have to exist on separate platforms: Discord for the community, and another service like Teachable or Thinkific for your content.
As you see in the screenshot below, and as you have probably seen countless times. Using Discord can be very overwhelming and can have your community feel disorganized.
They have very likely experienced something like this:
With tons of various types of notifications, your members have an extremely hard time trying to follow conversations and engaging with your content. A fraction of what you’d like them to hear actually reaches them.
Furthermore, your members probably follow other content on Discord. If they follow three separate servers, this is what their discord looks like after just a few hours of being inactive:
Yep. It’s a mess.
As an online creator, you’re basically put in the position of having to compete for your community members’ attention — because it’s so easy to get distracted by different notifications from other communities.
Finally, you can’t really personalize your server all that much. The lack of branding and ownership and the inability to use custom domains mean that you don’t really have full control over how your community perceives your content.
What ends up happening is that you primarily build up the Discord brand, instead of strengthening your community by focusing on building your own brand.
And in case of any technical issues, oddly enough, your clients probably view YOU as unprofessional, rather than blame it on Discord.
Yep. It’s unfair. But there is a way around it — with these superior alternatives.
GroupApp is by far the first and the best contender on this list.
It’s an ALL-IN-ONE solution that lets you:
Other distinct features include:
Carmen & Darius Britt
YouTuber & Founders of Wealth Nation
“GroupApp has been a lifesaver for us because we have been using multiple tools to manage our membership community, sell courses, and build lead magnets. Instead of having several tools struggle to work in harmony, with GroupApp, everything is under one roof.”
Great cross-platform compatibility, private channels, an intuitive user interface, and customization options make GroupApp a complete package that few other alternatives on this list can match — intended specifically for creators.
Element (formerly known as Riot and Vector) is an end-to-end encrypted (E2EE), messaging and collaboration app based on Matrix.
This secure tool provides voice and video calls, instant messaging, file and screen sharing, and huge chat rooms for one-on-one communication.
Small-Business(50 or fewer emp.)
“Rather than just being yet another silly messaging application, Element utilizes Matrix protocol, which supports both federation and the brilliant bridging, integrating with third-party messaging apps, giving you a unified messenger at last.”
Element is a genuinely interesting and appealing secure messaging platform that will appeal to individual users and businesses alike. It’s reliable, it comes with just about all the features that you’re likely to need, and it’s simple to set up. The best fit for Element might be those who have the time and resources to really invest in it, including servers and bridges to other apps.
Flock is a respectable team management software for teams.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one app for scheduling, roles, team management, setting up meetings, Flock is a very good choice.
Flock is available on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, as well as Web.
(‘Self-Employed’Broadcast Media, 11-50 employees)
“The team uses Flock alongside Asana (our primary collaboration tool). We have multiple teams working separately with Asana, and Flock is the one place we can all communicate and coordinate together. So it keeps us all connected and working together even if some members are currently working on different projects.”
Flock might be useful in community work or in college communications. It can also be used in start-ups where the cost would be a factor. However, if you have a big community and need to host meetings with many participants, there are certainly better options out there.
Hangouts Chats is a free communication program that offers text messaging, voice calls, video calls, and sharing content. It’s a Google-developed cross-platform messaging app.
Hangouts Chat can also be used for communicating while gaming or conferences and as it’s available on all platforms, people can receive notifications on the spot and reply to them — but a google account is necessary.
Khan Nida Khanum A
Small-Business(50 or fewer emp.)
“Hangouts can be used for a quick chat with your Gmail contacts. It is useful mostly if you work on Gmail all the time and not other apps like teams or slack. It also has meeting invites where it creates a room for video calling, screen sharing, and team meetings. Then you can share the link with your contacts and they can join it.”
This app, which is only available via a business G Suite account, isn’t nearly as loaded with features and options as Editors’ Choice Slack, but it keeps people connected. It works much like any other business messaging app, with a few minor distinctions in its default settings — however, if you want to use Google Hangouts Chat, you must have a G Suite subscription and account, which is a business-grade account. There’s no other way to use the app.
Matrix is an open-source and open network platform. It offers decentralized but secure communication in real-time.
You can create direct chats, chatrooms, and chatbots with end-to-end encryption, synced conversation history, and formatted messages.
Matrix is Apache-licensed and you can use it to power VoIP, IoT, internet messaging, and WebRTC along with any other app that requires a standard HTTP API to publish or subscribe to data.
You can text or call others no matter what app they’re using.
“We are spending more and more time in @matrixdotorg. @RiotChat works like a charm, better than @SlackHQ for many things and of course way better than IRC. It’s awesome to have so many open communities forming and being able to jump from one channel to the other. Give it a try!”
If you’re looking for decentralized communication and an open network — then Matrix is one of the top solutions for you. It’s free and similar to other team communication tools out there. However, it still needs some minor development, since it’s relatively new.
Mattermost is another open-source platform for communication and team collaboration.
With Mattermost, you don’t have to worry about data privacy or security, and you get full control over your data. It’s self-hosted and you get better support for Markdown and LaTex.
You can collaborate across large teams more easily and build intuitive workflows that can go up to tens of thousands of users.
(Publishing, 11-50 employees)
“The interface is pretty much self-explanatory. This is why user acceptance is quite good. Customizing the interface is straightforward and can be done at a user level. The open-source community around Mattermost is really nice and welcoming. Apps for every operating system are available and easy to use once manually set up. Scalability was never a problem with 1000+ users.”
Mattermost is perfect for large teams. Offering enterprise-grade security features and good support, it’s a very reliable team communication tool that can grow with you and meet the demands of your field.
Microsoft Teams is another very solid Discord alternative. It’s designed as a shared workspace for chatting, online meetings, video calling, and file sharing.
(Ohio UniversityHigher Education, 1001-5000 employees)
“We used Microsoft Teams almost exclusively to teach classes during the pandemic. We also continue to use it for faculty and training meetings as we are just getting back to campus. I anticipate we will continue to use it for meetings because we have some faculty who are not in our college town. I also hope the administration continues to use it for training because I don’t want to have to go to another all-day training meeting with a rubber chicken lunch.”
Microsoft Teams is a good chat program overall. Well suited for small meetings and chats within your organization with good scheduling functions — but not as useful as other alternatives for larger meetings and interactive content.
Mumble is an open-source, low latency, and free voice-chat app. Established more than a decade ago, was the first VoIP app with true low latency voice communication, but it’s also useful for recording podcasts.
Like Discord, Mumble was designed with gamers in mind, so it’s best to be used in games for real-time voice communication.
“Really great VOIP app with the lowest latency out there. The clients for this app are awesome, working perfectly without any crashes or menus that you don’t understand because you didn’t read the docs enough. It’s unofficial Android client is fine, although don’t expect the same latency as on PC (it’s on average about 100 or so ms higher, but don’t take my word on that). Overall, the ability to setup servers without any licensing, changing weird settings or dealing with proprietary software is what we need in every VOIP app.”
A great Discord alternative for gamers, if you’re looking for a reliable, low latency, free platform. However, the price of ‘free’ is occasional disconnections and relatively poorer sound quality than other similar solutions out there.
Signal was launched in 2014 by Open Whisper System. It’s an open-source messaging app that allows users to send encrypted text messages and voice memos, and make video calls using the internet.
So far, Signal has proved itself to be a far more secure alternative to the famous WhatsApp messenger and others like it.
Customer Success Manager
Small-Business(50 or fewer emp.)
“Simple messaging application with no glitches or ads. You can also turn the SMS and MMS feature on or off to utilize it as a default messaging application. The privacy policies and terms and conditions are safe and easy to understand. You can customize the appearance of the application by them, default language, and other options. You can even manage network data and storage from the app itself.”
Signal is a great little messenger app if you’re trying to chat more securely with your colleagues or friends. However, you could very much make the argument that it’s a bit rough around the edges, but has good potential to become a reliable messenger app in the near future.
Skype is a well-known Microsoft-owned program that has been around pretty much “forever” at this point. It’s trusted by almost everyone and is often used for casual online communication. Besides calls and video calls, Skype also provides instant messaging services, supports video, audio, and image messages.
Director, Advanced Analytics
(SmartSimple Software IncComputer Software, 51-200 employees)
“Skype is what I might call a secondary app. We have used Skype and at one time it was our main app. However, in the last year, we have moved to other apps. Skype was replaced with Teams by one of our largest clients and we decided to follow their lead. We also use WhatsApp for personal purposes.”
This is an easy-to-download and easy-to-set-up program that’s available on pretty much any platform imaginable. If all you’re looking for is a temporary solution for a quick one-on-one call, Skype is the best way to go — and you probably won’t have major problems for a few calls here and there (with few participants).
Slack is often regarded as one of the best team chat platforms. Far better than Discord in terms of integration, it connects easily with third-party tools like Trello, GitHub, MailChimp, and others.
This means you can collaborate faster, using Slack’s centralized event feed that’s sitting next to your chat and makes it easy to keep up with important discussions.
Technical Product Manager
(TeliaTelecommunications, 10,001+ employees)
“Efficiency of any organization is much dependent on the amount and quality of the communication between its members. This applies especially now in COVID-19 times. We are using Slack as the minute-to-minute tool for keeping our team members in touch, in sync, and living the same pulse. Slack is being used by most parts of our organization, but some parts are still resisting and willing to stay in the old solutions, including mass amounts of emails.”
Slack is one of the world’s leading platforms for team communication — all communication is organized in one place, easily searchable, and cross-platform compatible. However, it’s mostly work/productivity-oriented, so it can probably be a pain to use Slack as a creator trying to connect to your community.
Steam Chat is a messaging and voice chat service for gamers, and since it’s so similar in design, Steam Chat makes for a perfect “Discord doppelganger”.
Top features of Steam Chat:
“I’m quite happy with this new app. The previous, outdated “Steam Mobile” app would not send messages 50% of the time, and the chat would go offline constantly. I’m rating this a 3 out of 5 however, simply because they should have updated the old Steam Mobile with this as opposed to making a whole new app. Now I have to have both apps – one for Steam Guard Mobile Authentication, one for chatting. Another gripe is the fact that I can’t select chat history to copy it. If the latter problem is fixed, I’ll raise my rating to 4 stars.”
Practically a carbon copy of Discord, Steam Chat is a good Discord alternative for gamers. Voice and text channels work the same both in Discord and Steam — users can join one voice channel at a time and talk out loud to others.
TeamSpeak is a VoIP communication system made specifically for voice conversations and targeted mostly towards gamers.
TeamSpeak allows you to communicate cross-platform while providing a clear sound, high-quality security, and good performance.
“ComputerSluggish Tutorials” made a very informed review. Check it out here.
It’s a great Discord alternative for gamers looking for a stable connection and clear audio for in-game communication. However, there are far superior Discord alternatives if you’re looking to build an online community.
Telegram is an instant and free messaging app. It’s easy to use, highly secure, and one of the most popular open-source Discord alternatives out there.
(Isabel Azalia Portrait DesignArts & Crafts, 1-10 employees)
“I use Telegram as a secure connection to talk, video chat, or text clients who want more privacy with their personal information. I need a lot of personal details about my clients in order to create art for their family. Most people don’t want this getting out into the world, so this has been a great method for us to communicate while they get the privacy they need!”
Telegram has been very well suited for family video calls and conversations where detailed and private information is shared. With extremely good video quality user reviews, Telegram is the go-to messenger if you’re looking for secure communication.
Tox (or qTox) is an open-source messaging platform that’s big on privacy. It works with Windows, Mac, Linux, FreeBSD, and other platforms. It offers video and voice communication, group communication, and text chat.
Tox offers instant encrypted messaging — so your messages are all at your fingertips and you’re always in the loop.
Since Tox is a completely new platform, there are no long-term customers reviews at this point.
Tox Chat is a great project that is on the verge of transforming into something excellent. Unfortunately, like most up-and-coming products, Tox Chat is living in the shadows of large, patented projects. This means that it has limited resources and little support.
Troop Messenger is a simple to use team communication and project management software. Many of its features were made for businesses and corporate companies looking to maintain a ‘professional’ look, and keep their privacy.
It allows you to organize everything and to send data and files easily. It’s available on all platforms.
Digital Marketing Analyst
(TvishaComputer Software, 201-500 employees)
“Troop Messenger has many work-productive features and facilities. It made our teams connect across group conversations windows via chat, calling, screen share, audio-video conferencing to discuss projects of all kinds. The pleasing UI of this team collaboration chat app comes with an enhanced chat area personalization feature, Wallpapers. Also, you can preview text files, images, videos directly on the UI without the need to download them to view.”
Troop Messenger is a good internal messaging application for businesses. You can collaborate with colleagues quickly and efficiently. With instant messaging, audio-video calling, sharing screen contents, and video conferencing, your team members can easily connect and exchange important info.
Wire is a secure, cloud-based, and open-source collaboration solution. It offers video conferences, conference calls, file sharing, and screen sharing functionalities.
Wire provides external collaboration with end-to-end encryption to protect your communication.
Bruno from BrainHQ from Posit Science
Company Size: 11-50 employees
Industry: Mental Health Care
“I’m the Principal Investigator of an NIH-funded research study using Wire to deliver group therapy via text and video calls to people with a serious mental illness. So far, participants and staff have greatly enjoyed the interface, its innovative features, and the user experience in general. In particular, the group video-conferencing feature allows for smooth and high-quality group calls from mobile devices. In summary, the software has exceeded our expectations in terms of reliability and functionality.”
With generally favorable reviews from people who place a top priority on chat security and sharing sensitive information, you get great value from Wire — if you want a secure chat software. But if you’re looking for something with a lot of 3rd party integration, you will have to try somewhere else.
Chanty is a team chat and task management/project management app.
You can exchange chat and voice messages, have audio and video calls with your team members. You can turn messages into tasks and assign them to your team members.
You can easily integrate it with Trello, Asana, Zapier, Google Drive, Dropbox, Onedrive, Github, Gitlab, Bitbucket, Mailchimp, Giphy, and others for a more automated workflow.
(Marc Duke ConsultingMarketing and Advertising, 1-10 employees)
“I use it as part of a network of Non-Exec Directors in the UK. In effect, it is used as a communications platform with some element of collaboration. I am using the app on a mobile device and receive notifications of new activity which then gets me back to the app.”
Chanty is primarily a useful team collaboration tool. You can instantly communicate with your team and deliver important information ASAP. App integration turns Chanty’s team chat into a “command center” and the user has control over information from connected apps.
Zoom is by far one of the most popular solutions for modern enterprise video communications today, so it kind of had to make the list.
With the free plan, you can only invite up to 100 people to your video conferences and host them for a maximum of 40 minutes.
Financial Accounting Consultant
(EYAccounting, 10,001+ employees)
“This application offers me good collaboration with my team members and it is a time-saving product, that never bounds me being bound about to carry my work on the basis of time zone and the place. This tool has shared my workload as I [have
gotten] rid of sending excessive emails to my clients. Zoom offers consistent services and facilitates me in scheduling the meetings.”
The popularity of this tool has made it synonymous with video conferencing and group calls. Its reliability and spread (because of user-friendliness) mean that many other platforms offer Zoom integration, so cross-platform compatibility is a definite strong point.
Before reaching the conclusion and before you start analyzing these alternatives so you can pick your favorite, there is also one other factor you should look into.
It’s your content creator type and it mostly has to do with your natural strengths and inclinations. By recognizing them, you can pick a platform that’s best suited to your type.
There are five main types of content creators:
The experts know everything on their topic or their niche.
People turn to their content because of their in-depth knowledge, and they likely share their actual experiences. Even though their expertise allows them to go far beyond the basic ‘how-to’ content, the experts often forget to make their content easily digestible.
If you recognize this in yourself, try to remain self-aware!
The networkers find information from people around them, connect people, exchange ideas and information.
The networkers often re-package common-sense information through a very relatable and very practical perspective. The best content they can create often revolves around understanding and then retelling something in their own, far more useful words.
Their “weakness” is that some of them tend to feel like they’re not being creative — which can hinder their productivity.
But in reality — their ability to understand, connect and teach by constructing their narrative by connecting different information is what’s the best, and at the same time, the most creative part about them.
Observers can write/make content about pretty much anything.
They can lay out the general idea of a topic in a matter of seconds — stripping away any unnecessary information with surgical precision.
Without going too deeply into details, they are great at making their audience curious to go looking for answers on their own. They inspire real action and can influence people profoundly.
However, they don’t have a deep grasp of certain topics, so they should be careful not to turn their content into a lot of “style” with little substance type of content.
If you remember any info-graphics you saw online, they were probably made by visualizers. Visual content creators share their ideas through images. They have a tendency (often paired with talent) to convey their messages in a clear, visual way.
They often use existing content and re-purpose it in a visual way — thus creating something brand new. However, if they’re not skilled designers themselves, they may need to hire a full-time designer, in order to present their content consistently well.
They are natural salespeople, always trying to persuade their audience to think a certain way.
They create powerful and useful information that will leave their audience convinced at the end of the journey.
The convincers are great at inspiring people — and not just by words, but by backing it up with thorough research. However, they should beware of their tendency to leave out critical information just to prove their point.
If you’ve recognized your own traits in more than one of these types, that’s great! These categories are supposed to bring to the forefront what you often regard as your default and show you that’s it’s quite the contrary:
What you consider your default may be one of your biggest strengths.
It’s also here to remind you of the things you should avoid, so you can make better content.
After taking a good look at yourself and finding out where you fit in these categories, focus on them when revisiting the mentioned alternatives and choosing your favorite.
Choose confidently, and pick what the creator in you would pick!
In the end, choosing the best Discord alternative really depends on all the things you’re looking to gain — things that Discord can’t offer at all, or adequately enough.
Unfortunately, there’s really NOT a lot of platforms out there specifically aimed at catering for online creators (apart from gamers). A lot of the Discord alternatives are strictly/mostly intended for either video conferencing, project management, or team messaging.
The bottom line is: If you’re an online creator looking to reach your community completely and integrate features of multiple contenders on this list — then there’s not a single doubt about choosing GroupApp to achieve that, because of one simple fact:
The creators (whichever your type) are precisely whom GroupApp was designed for. Happy creating.