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Discord acquires teen-oriented social media app Gas

The news: The social app Gas, which has at times supplanted TikTok and BeReal in App Store downloads, has been purchased by Discord.

  • Gas’ small staff (founder Nikita Bier said in October the team was four people) will maintain the app and become part of the broader Discord team.
  • Gas attracted more than 1 million daily active users and 30,000 new users per hour in October; by December, the company had reached $6 million in sales and achieved 10 million downloads, according to Bier.

How Gas works: Teenagers have recently grown fond of the poll-based software, which enables friends to complement one another.

  • The app is made for anonymous compliments and affirmations—"gassing up" friends, in teen parlance.
  • Users can vote for the student who isn't scared to get in trouble or the most attractive person they've ever met in polls on Gas.

Why it matters: This is part of Discord’s larger and ongoing initiative to target communities and users beyond gaming. The company netted $100 million in funding in 2020 with a major goal of branching out beyond the gaming industry; the platform has since focused on non-gaming creators and communities.

  • Discord has benefited of late from the turmoil surrounding Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition and the dismantling of its gaming team. A not-insignificant number of Twitter users are putting their Discord handles on their profiles as they say farewell to checking Twitter.
  • While Discord already performs well with teenagers, its leadership will likely look to the Gas team for suggestions on how to enhance its own software and connect with new communities.

Go further: We predicted Gas would be a social media app to watch in our Social Media Trends to Watch for 2023 report. Read it here.