Battle.Net Gets New Social Features

By Cecilia D'Anastasio on at

Blizzard’s service is giving players what they want—access to their gaming friends on every device, whenever. It’s a push for hyper convenience, but will undoubtedly lead many players to wonder which chat service they should use.

On’s beta version of its desktop app, a “Social” tab is now visible. Players can voice or text chat through groups, private DMs and channels. Now, they can also customise profiles with personal avatars and an “About” line. It’s super convenient for players who want to use the same client to chat inside games like Overwatch and also when they’re browsing the web. And with’s new mobile app, gamers can chat with each other basically anywhere. That will make coordinating World of Warcraft raids or organising an Overwatch six-stack a lot easier than repeatedly logging onto our desktops, shooting chat messages into offline friends’ inboxes.

The problem? A lot of us were already doing that with Discord—at least, most of it. Discord offers the same voice or text chat through channels and private DMs, but doesn’t have the same in-game integration.

Discord does have a lot of things doesn’t, though—I love knowing what Steam games my friends are playing, and if they link their Steam account to their Discord account, that info shows up right on the app. Also, today, Discord added in video chat with up to 10 people and screen-sharing, which will definitely help expand the gaming app’s relevance beyond gamers. Hell, who knows—maybe Discord will replace Slack one day.

With’s new all-platform integration, StarCraft and Overwatch players will have to decide whether to stick with Discord or move to for all their chatting, which could inadvertently splinter some friend groups.

The update also includes an “appear offline” feature, so we can finally play Diablo III without being pestered by friends to go capture the payload.