Discord and AI GTM
Midjourney is the largest discord server, with 16.5 million total users. It accounts for 13% of total Discord traffic. Midjourney launched in March 2022 and doesn’t have a web application. Many other AI apps (Leonardo, Pika, Suno, And AI Hub) are on Discord (or even Discord-only).
Why is Discord such a good GTM for AI applications?
Text interface. Most users are just generating images, videos, and audio in these Discord servers. Prompts are easily expressible in simple text commands. It’s why we’ve seen image generation strategies like Midjourney (all-in-one) flourish in Discord while more raw diffusion models haven’t grown as quickly (e.g., Stable Diffusion with many configurable parameters).
Virality. Prompt engineering models is difficult and more art than science (today). Users can see generations by other users and collectively see what’s working and what isn’t. This means that these communities often have the most advanced prompts and best images.
Low friction. Go to where your users already are. Most developers have Discord now. One fewer application to sign up for.
Free hosting. Discord pays for the image hosting and bandwidth. At Midjourney scale, this is not negligible.
But Discord has it’s risks as a platform to build on.
Platform risk. Discord could (easily?) build its own Midjourney-type application into the platform. Using all of the prompt-image pairs (along with reactions as a RLHF), it could probably distill a much better model from Midjourney (questionably legal but technically easy). This reminds me of the Zynga / Facebook relationship. Zynga accounted for 19% of Facebook’s revenue at one point. Facebook reduced Zynga’s API access and launched its own gaming platform.
Multi-modal. How does multi-modal fit into the Discord text-first interface? Sure there are images and audio that can be uploaded via the interface, but it’s hard to image the UI that a multi-modal AI will need in the future.