Discord is the latest company to introduce a clubhouse-like feature that allows people to easily broadcast live audio calls to a room of virtual listeners. Discord says the take, called Stage Channels, is now available on all platforms where Discord is available, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and the web.
If you’ve used Discord before, you may know that the app already offers voice channels, allowing everyone to talk freely. A Stage Channel, on the other hand, is designed to allow only certain people to talk to a group of listeners at a time, making them useful for more structured events like town halls or AMAs. Only community servers, which have some more powerful community management tools than a server you might share with some of your friends, can create the new Stage Channels.
The feature’s wide availability makes Discord the first app to provide an easy way to host or listen to social audio rooms on most platforms. Clubhouse is still only available on iOS, although an Android version is under developmentTwitter’s Spaces feature works on iOS and Android, but only a few users can create audio rooms at this point. (The company plans to have everyone host a Space starting April.) LinkedIn, Mark Cuban, Slack, and Spotify is also working on live audio features, and Facebook reportedly has one in the works too.
At the top of this post, you can see what a Discord Stage Channel looks like on a desktop, and here’s what one looks like on a mobile:
I got to join a Stage Channel to be informed about the position, and it was a lot like using Clubhouse or Twitter Spaces. When I joined the Stage Channel, I was automatically muted and listed as a spectator. I could see who was speaking and who else was with me in the virtual crowd.
When I wanted to ask questions, I pushed a button to speak, and a stage moderator took me “onstage” so I could talk. Stage moderators can also mute speakers or even remove them from the room if they are disturbing.