Discord continues to evolve and grow, especially after its user base peaked during the pandemic, and the app is finally adding Threads – we just don’t know when yet.
The Discord Threads update is still in early testing and is just being phased out for bot developers so they can make sure their work is compatible when the feature does indeed launch.
According to the Discord Threads developer documentation, they are intended as temporary subchannels to help people keep track of conversations in busy channels.
This is in contrast to Answers, a feature that was added in November 2020. While these help a bit to keep conversations going when 30 people are all talking about different things, it can still be hard to keep up with the conversation, and it seems the Discord Threads feature should counteract that.
We don’t know when this feature will go live as it is currently limited to bot developers with servers under 5 users and 1 bot. We’ve reached out to Discord for comment on when this feature can be expected, and we’ll update this story if we hear anything.
How does it work?
I was invited to a test server for this feature and I played with it a bit. The way it works now – and again, it’s in early testing – is that you can mouse over a post in a channel with Threads enabled, and there will be an icon that looks like a hashtag with a speech bubble bottom right corner.
Click that and you’ll be taken to a “New Discussion” window. There you can name the thread and choose how long it should take before it is automatically archived. At the moment, the longest period you can choose is one week, meaning conversations older than that period will be archived. However, administrators can undo this at their discretion.
I’ve only tested this on desktop so I can’t say how it works on mobile right now, but it will open on the right side of your Discord window so you can view the thread next to the main chat. However, don’t worry if you accidentally close it. Below the main channel where the Thread started, you’ll see a directory of Threads, which makes it easy to navigate to the conversation you were looking for.
Discord released a short video for developers that gives a good idea of what this looks like in practice. And, hey, hanging out in the park is doing sounds nice.
Why does it matter?
If you’re part of an active Discord community, you’ve probably noticed that things can get a little out of hand at times. I know that when I’m just trying to chat with friends in my Final Fantasy XIV community, especially when a new expansion is announced, for example, hundreds of posts can pop up on various topics. Threads should fix this.
Especially if you’re trying to organize an event, or say a raid in Final Fantasy XIV, and you have a lot of people having irrelevant conversations, it can be easy to lose detail in the chaos.
There are also conversations that you may want to revisit from time to time. One of the things I like to do is talk about a new movie or TV show, and come back to it when I have new thoughts or whatever. Threads pin that conversation under the channel, so it’s easy to get back to it even after hundreds of other posts fill Discord’s main channel.