Discord username update: reason for user name change explained - and reaction

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Discord's 150 million active users have to go back to the drawing board as they bid farewell to their current usernames

Discord users will soon have to get back to the drawing board and think about new usernames after the popular social platform confirmed major plans. The change is set to affect most if not all of its over 150 million active userbase.

Gone are the days of the stalwart four-digit tags that Discord would put after usernames. These often included a hashtag followed by four numbers which helped distinguish one person from another if they had the same username.

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Instead of this feature, which has been used by Discord since it first launched in 2015, you must now decide on a new and unique alphanumeric username that will follow the '@' symbol. If a user has already taken your preferred ID, fear not as you will also have the opportunity to choose a non-unique display name which can consist of special characters, spaces and even emojis to bring it more in-line with other social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

Discord co-founder Stanislav Vishnevskiy wrote in a blog post: "We recognize that this is a big change, there may be hiccups with this process, and it may be tough to part ways with that ‘#0001’ that’s meant a lot to you over the years. We’ll be doing everything we can to manage things as smoothly as possible."

Here is everything you need to know about the new Discord username update. Including the reason behind the decision, as well as how to change your Discord username.

Why is Discord forcing users to change their usernames?

Discord's 150 million active users have to go back to the drawing board as they bid farewell to their current usernames - Credit: AdobeDiscord's 150 million active users have to go back to the drawing board as they bid farewell to their current usernames - Credit: Adobe
Discord's 150 million active users have to go back to the drawing board as they bid farewell to their current usernames - Credit: Adobe | Daniel CHETRONI - stock.adobe.co

Discord has decided to make this update to usernames in a bid to make it "easier to connect" with others. It found that while they want users to choose any username they want, which was helped by the four-digit tag, it became "technical debt" that they have not "addressed adequately". While Discord also admitted that the codes made usernames "too complicated" and hard for people to memorise and network with others.

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Explaining the reason behind the new update, a Discord spokesperson issued the following statement: "After hearing from many users about the challenges associated with connecting with friends on our platform, we’ve made changes to our username system to make Discord more accessible and user-friendly for both new and existing users. We value user feedback and are committed to improving the overall Discord experience."

Will friends be able to find me on Discord using my old username?

According to Discord, your old or previous alias with the four-digit tag will still work as a way for friends and other users to find you on the platform. This means your old username will still work - but only for this purpose.

When and how to change your Discord username - step by step guide

Not every Discord user will be able to change their username straight away as the new update will be rolled out gradually "in the coming weeks". It will start by prioritising the users who have been registered on the social platform for longer. You will be notified by Discord when you are able to change your username.

When you do qualify for a username change, follow the below step-by-step guide to confirm your new Discord identity:

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  1. Click or tap on the User Settings tab
  2. In the My Account tab of the User Settings section, click or tap on the 'edit' button next to your username
  3. Type in your new username, which can include letters and numbers
  4. Confirm the change by filling in the password of your Discord account for verification

Reaction to the Discord username change update

The decision has received a largely negative reaction from Discord users overall. They have flooded social channels such as Twitter to have their say on this major change:

One said: "Oh hey look, Discord is about to ruin their username system. It's like tech companies are magnetically attracted to making really dumb decisions. It's too bad that nobody with a brain had control over this decision."

Another added: "This Discord username update is a huge step backwards"

A post read: "This Discord username change is one of the most ridiculous decisions I've seen in awhile from a tech company, and that's saying something"

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A user said: "Absolutely baffling choice. Discord discriminators were one of the best username innovations I have ever seen, allowing thousands of users to have the same name. Forcing a Twitter-esque system will just put the discriminators into the actual username. Astonished that this got through."

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