Gaming chat app Discord adds a paid tier with cosmetic upgrades

The Slack-like service will stay free, so its Nitro premium subscription is mostly thanking with your wallet.

Herding your friends into voice chat before a gaming session has always been a bit of a chore, especially going through the rigmarole of hosting servers and exchanging passwords. The scrappy chat service Discord aimed to simplify all that, cribbing some of Slack's better features alongside its pièce de résistance: Click-and-join servers that don't require software installation or logins. Two years after launching and 25 million players later, they've activated a new $5-per-month paid tier -- Nitro -- for fans to support the service.

The added bonuses are nominal: Nitro boosts the image file upload limit from 8MB to 50MB, allows users to upload GIF avatars and use custom emojis in any server or DM. They're deliberately non-essential upgrades to keep the core service pure, reserving the paid option for folks who voluntarily want to kick some money Discord's way. Nitro costs $5 monthly or a discounted $50 up front for a year pass.

On top of keeping their main service free, Discord's got several new features cooking for 2017, including chat history search, screen sharing, admin audit logs and collapsible channel categories.

[Thanks, Kristy]