Why it’s worth watching: Microsoft is looking for ways to build its consumer base and buy-in by capitalizing on the community feel of audio-based chat platforms and video game forums.
The bigger picture: Microsoft may be attempting to edge out Discord’s rival Clubhouse before the audio-chat app becomes profitable, and to beat other companies in the race to develop their own chat platforms. So far:
What’s next: If acquisition efforts succeed, Microsoft will have an opportunity to capitalize on Discord’s mixed media functionality and grow the community-based platform beyond young people and gamers. But Microsoft may not be able to uphold Discord’s scrappy spirit, and risks corporatizing the app into a Frankensteined amalgam of Slack and Clubhouse.
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