At Discord, all around 400 million registered users will have to change their account names in the coming weeks, and that with a much smaller selection. This was announced by the popular chat application in a blog entry. Previously, account names consisted of a term (case sensitive) and a four-digit number to differentiate between identical names. From now on, only names with a maximum length of 32 characters will be accepted. Only Latin letters from a to z in lower case are allowed, special characters are forbidden with the exception of the underscore and the period. There are also other restrictions, which limit the selection quite a bit.
Whoever has been there the longest has the right of way
The unique user name is supplemented by a new display name, which can be chosen much more freely and changed as often as you like. Discord explains that it is displayed in most situations, such as in direct messages. The unique username, on the other hand, is used for friend requests and to verify identity to others on the platform. Nevertheless, a real race for the most popular and, among other things, the shortest usernames should now begin. Discord wants to forestall this with a regulated order when releasing the change option: the older the accounts, the sooner they can secure a unique username, they say.
The new system is strongly reminiscent of the practices on social networks such as Twitter and Instagram. According to Discord co-founder Stanislav Vishnevskiy, previous usernames were far too difficult to remember and share outside of the platform. So you always had to specify exactly which letter is uppercase and which lowercase and what exactly the four-digit number is at the end. Most recently, about half of all friend requests on Discord failed, mostly because the username entered was incorrect. Now you choose a step to prevent this in the long term, and for that everyone on the platform would have to become active.
Vishnevskiy writes that the decision was not easy to make and that it is well known how difficult it is to say goodbye to user names that you have come to love. He also points out once again that although there are strict specifications for the new user names, you can let your imagination run wild with the display name. It can contain almost any character, does not have to be unique and will become the most prominent form of identity on the platform. In addition, it can be changed at any time, even every minute. When you get the opportunity to choose the new designations, you will find out in due course in the Discord applications.