According to multiple independent reports, Microsoft is interested in acquiring Discord, an instant messaging and digital distribution platform that’s especially popular among Gen Z gamers.
While the two companies are still far away from striking a deal, Microsoft seems to be the only potential buyer at the moment, and the software giant is willing to pay up to $10 billion to add Discord to its portfolio.
But why is one of the largest companies in the world interested in spending so much money to buy what was once the alt-right’s favorite chat app? The answer may surprise you: Microsoft isn’t really interested in the platform itself; it’s interested in the community of around 150 million monthly active users.
“Creation, creation, creation — the next 10 years is going to be as much about creation as it is about consumption and about the community around it, so it’s not creating alone,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “If the last 10 years has been about consumption — we’re shopping more, we’re browsing more, we’re binge-watching more — there is creation behind every one of those.”
Discord is a huge community of content creators, and many of its users play video games on Microsoft’s video game consoles. In the past, Microsoft had attempted to create a place for gamers to “come together to talk about games, watch games, watch others play games,” as Xbox chief Phil Spencer put it, by purchasing live streaming platform Beam and renaming it Mixer, but that effort turned out to be a failure.
The difference between mixer and Discord is that the latter platform is already loved by its target audience, so Microsoft wouldn’t face an uphill struggle and could simply focus on tightening the integration between Xbox, PC, and Discord.
“There’s a big opportunity to bundle Discord’s premium offering, Nitro, into the Game Pass service to drive more subscriptions from the last reported 18 million,” pointed out Bloomberg Intelligence Analyst Matthew Kanterman.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft has been looking for its next big acquisition for quite some time now. The company attempted to purchase both TikTok and Pinterest but failed each time. It will be interesting to see if things will work out on the third try.
Matchmaking App Hawaya Lets Users Connect Based On Lifestyle Choices
Hawaya currently operates in 12 new countries, including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, France, Germany, UK, Malaysia, Indonesia, the United States, and Canada.
Finding love is not easy, especially for singles in the Middle East, where conservative cultural norms don’t approve of any but the most traditional forms of matchmaking, which don’t seem all that appealing to many members of younger generations. But it’s not like young men and women in the Middle East are without modern options when it comes to finding the partner of their dreams. Hawaya, a Cairo-born matchmaking app, has recently celebrated 4 million users, and it’s now rolling out a feature that has the potential to expand its userbase even further: the ability to connect based on lifestyle choices with people from other regions.
Hawaya currently operates in 12 new countries, including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, France, Germany, UK, Malaysia, Indonesia, the United States of America, and Canada. So far, it has resulted in 18,000 commitments, with 5,000 in Egypt alone.
“We’re seeing singles all over the region, women in particular, trusting in Hawaya to find their life partner more than ever before, which displays greater social acceptance for mobile matchmaking as an empowering tool for women to find their ideal life partner,” said Shaymaa Ali, Hawaya’s co-founder and Marketing Manager in the MENA region.
The new “Lifestyle Preferences” feature allows users to find their other half based on shared interests, likes, and dislikes. Users can now specify the geographic area they would like to explore, instead of always receiving matches that are located as close to them as possible.
“Through innovation, tech, and cultural respect, Hawaya prides itself to be a progressive app that aims to destigmatize the taboo of online matchmaking, and empowering women to take their time and spark a real connection with the love of their lives,” added Sameh Saleh, Hawaya’s founder and CEO.
Since the 2017 launch of Hawaya, social acceptance of online matchmaking in the MENA region has seen a measurable improvement, but there’s still a long way to go before all users of matchmaking apps like Hawaya won’t feel the need to hide their identities.