The news: The social app Gas, which has at times supplanted TikTok and BeReal in App Store downloads, has been purchased by Discord.
- Gas’ small staff (founder Nikita Bier said in October the team was four people) will maintain the app and become part of the broader Discord team.
- Gas attracted more than 1 million daily active users and 30,000 new users per hour in October; by December, the company had reached $6 million in sales and achieved 10 million downloads, according to Bier.
How Gas works: Teenagers have recently grown fond of the poll-based software, which enables friends to complement one another.
- The app is made for anonymous compliments and affirmations—"gassing up" friends, in teen parlance.
- Users can vote for the student who isn't scared to get in trouble or the most attractive person they've ever met in polls on Gas.
Why it matters: This is part of Discord’s larger and ongoing initiative to target communities and users beyond gaming. The company netted $100 million in funding in 2020 with a major goal of branching out beyond the gaming industry; the platform has since focused on non-gaming creators and communities.
- Discord has benefited of late from the turmoil surrounding Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition and the dismantling of its gaming team. A not-insignificant number of Twitter users are putting their Discord handles on their profiles as they say farewell to checking Twitter.
- While Discord already performs well with teenagers, its leadership will likely look to the Gas team for suggestions on how to enhance its own software and connect with new communities.