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Discord wants to clean up and support its massive bot community

Developers have got six months to get verified.

Discord

Born of a jokey airhorn feature first launched back in 2016, bots on Discord have since flourished into an integral part of the platform’s experience. More than three million bots have been created to date, from those that help you run a full on D&D campaign, to those that help you record podcasts or listen to music together. Now, Discord is going to start taking them seriously, and plans to launch a load of new tools and verification systems to help make developer’s hacky creations more legit.

As Discord itself says, until now bots are something the platform has supported, “but not properly embraced,” and now it plans to build features specifically for bots. In a blog post, the platform says that developers will get powerful new tools to take their creations “to the next level” so that bots become polished products and feel like a natural extension of Discord.

Of course, that introduces a new challenge: how do you sort the wheat from the chaff among these millions of bots? The answer: a verified bots and developers program. By completing a few security checks, developers will get a verified check mark for their bot, which not only unlocks development tools for future creations, but lets users know the bot is trustworthy — something users will appreciate in the wake of a recent wave of bot spamming. According to Discord, the initiative also means the platform can encourage users to adopt bots within Discord, rather than scouring the internet, which could mean there’s some kind of dedicated Discord Bot section in the works.

The system isn’t intended to be a nice-to-have addition for developers, though. If you want your bot to thrive you’ll have to apply for verification — it’ll be a requirement for bots in 100 or more servers. Until your bot is verified, you won’t be able to grow past 100 servers, and if your bot is already in more than 100 servers, it won’t be able to join any more. As Discord says, it’s a pretty big change, so it’s instituting a six month depreciation period. You’ve basically got until October 7th of this year to get verified if you meet the criteria — until then there will be no restrictions. But it’s worth getting a head start, and if your bot is in 75 or more servers, you can apply right now.

It was really only a matter of time before Discord turned its attention to bots — they are, after all, a major part of the Discord experience, not to mention a good way for developers to flex their coding muscles. No doubt this is just a first step, though — we can probably expect to see a lot more attention given to discords’ bots in the future.