Discord is expanding on Connections, a feature that allows users to show what music they're listening to (among other things), by providing a way for folks to verify their identity using accounts on other platforms. Starting in the next few weeks, admins will be able to offer dedicated server roles to users who have authenticated profiles with accounts elsewhere.
The core idea behind these Linked Roles is to provide a stronger sense of trust. The platforms that support this feature at the outset are Xbox, PlayStation, Steam, Epic Games, Battle.net, League of Legends, Riot Games, Reddit, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, Spotify, Facebook, GitHub, Crunchyroll, PayPal and eBay. Discord bots for Destiny 2 (Charlemagne) and Roblox (Bloxlink) support Linked Roles too.
You can show these connected accounts on your Discord profile, along with certain details like your follower count or eBay seller feedback rating. If you're selling your art on Discord, for instance, you can indicate to potential customers that the work on a DeviantArt profile is actually yours, since the accounts will be linked. Discord admins and moderators can also choose to offer server roles with perks, such as access to certain channels, to users who authenticate their accounts with Connections and meet various conditions.
Admins will be able to select the parameters for unlocking Linked Roles. They can stipulate, for instance, that a user needs to link to a Steam account that's a certain number of days old and/or has a minimum number of Dota 2 or Team Fortress 2 items to show that they're genuine players. From a server's dropdown menu, users will be able to view the requirements for each Linked Role. Each role will automatically be granted to their profiles when they meet the conditions.
Discord is keeping privacy in mind here. Admins and moderators won't automatically gain access to info from your Connections even if you've already linked accounts before joining a server. You'll need to manually opt-in to a server's Linked Roles before details from your connected accounts are accessible. Moreover, if you're eligible, you can snag a Linked Role on a server without having to show any details from your Connections on your profiles. Discord can handle things on the back end without admins or moderators being able to see your info.
Linked Roles build on previous Connections features, such as being able to show off whatever Xbox or PlayStation game you're playing on your Discord profile. Discord is rolling out Linked Roles at a time when Twitter is upending its approach to account verification. Cross-platform authentication can help to verify a person's identity. You'll be able to tell, for instance, if a Discord profile actually belongs to a big name Instagram, YouTube or TikTok creator thanks to those accounts being linked.
Meanwhile, Discord is starting to roll out green checkmarks next to Connections for certain services. The icon will show that the connected app is from a vetted developer. Discord says this will "help establish an important level of trust between apps from developer partners and the millions of users who interact with those apps every day across Discord."
As of today, 22 of these "official" apps are available. Next year, Discord will start offering an application process for developers who want to have their apps designated as official. In the meantime, using a new API, developers can create or update apps to support Connections features.