Blizzard just released a beta featuring a new Social tab to its Battle.net service. This "one stop shop" approach pushes Blizzard's game portal in direct competition with other popular online social communication apps like Discord.
With the launch of the new Battle.net beta players now have access to an expanded suite of social tools. This includes voice or text chat directly through the Battle.net app, along with communication channels for groups along with private DMs. You can also set up a personalized avatar with "About" descriptions.
Basically, this is so that players can use Battle.net to communicate with one another more easily while playing games like World of Warcraft or Overwatch. The new Battle.net mobile app will also connect players together even more, so that messages can be sent to each other even if someone is away from their computer.
This puts Battle.net on a collision course with Discord, another popular desktop communication app popular with video gamers for offering much of the same services like voice and text chat, multiple channels, and private DMs. While Discord doesn't have Battle.net's game integration, Discord does let users sync up their Steam accounts to show other people in the channel what games they're currently playing. Additionally, Discord added a new video chat service today that can host up to 10 people, as well as screen-share their desktops.
Still, there are other changes being made to Battle.net outside of its new communication and social features such as the ability to set yourself as "Offline" in Battle.net. While you'll still appear as online if you decide to log into World of Warcraft, outside of the game nobody will be able to tell whether or not you're trying to sneak in a quiet game night. Likewise, you can also send offline friends DMs, and they'll still receive it the next time they join online.
You can opt into the beta for the new Blizzard.net right now with no invitation or check out Blizzard's official blog post for more information.