Patreon creators have a new option to interact with fans, as the subscription platform just rolled out a group chat feature. This community chat allows creators to interact with adoring fans, but also lets subscribers talk to one another in a space outside of comments. Creators can have up to four chats going at once and there’s a toolset in place to allow certain restrictions as to who can participate. For instance, a creator can limit a specific chat to various subscriber tiers.
Patreon group chats are exclusive to the mobile app for now, but the company says a desktop version is in the works. Yes, this all sounds suspiciously like Discord, which Patreon acknowledges, referring to the feature as “essentially a simpler, in-app Discord server.” However, it’s not like Discord has a patent on group chats. Patreon says the tools aren’t meant to replace Discord, as creators will still have access to an integrated experience with the third-party app. In other words, they can choose which chat method they prefer.
You’ll be able to do more in chats than just spit out hot takes regarding your favorite creator’s published content. The rooms allow for the sharing of photos and emojis, in addition to plain-jane text. Obviously, there are moderation tools in place for creators to limit noxious content. The company says that a future update will allow creators to enlist fans to assist with moderation, so you can, uh, actually pay money to work.
To make these group chats feel more like an actual community, Patreon has also introduced a new member profile feature. This allows you to customize your name, photo, social media links and bio, so your fellow chatters can get to know you better. The company told Engadget that all of these tools will be useful “to enable deeper connections with fandom communities.”
Patreon group chats are already rolling out to select creators, with wider availability in the coming months. The subscription platform has been busy adding new features to aid creators and fans. It recently introduced tools to publish subscriber-only podcasts on Spotify and unveiled a native video toolset.