Gets Some New Social Features Like Voice Chat and Social Channels Gets Some New Social Features Like Voice Chat and Social Channels

You can also set yourself as "offline" if you like.

Blizzard just released a beta featuring a new Social tab to its 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 beta players now have access to an expanded suite of social tools. This includes voice or text chat directly through the app, along with communication channels for groups along with private DMs. You can also set up a personalized avatar with "About" descriptions. social channels

Basically, this is so that players can use to communicate with one another more easily while playing games like World of Warcraft or Overwatch. The new 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 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'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 outside of its new communication and social features such as the ability to set yourself as "Offline" in 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 right now with no invitation or check out Blizzard's official blog post for more information.

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Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

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