Discord’s username change is causing discord

red black and white geometric shapes with discord text logo in center
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

A race to reserve usernames is kicking off on Discord.

Starting in the next couple of weeks, millions of Discord users will be forced to say goodbye to their old four-digit-appended names. Discord is requiring everyone to take up a new common platform-wide handle. For Discord, it’s a move toward mainstream social network conventions. For some users, though, it’s a change to the basics of what Discord is — a shift that’s as much about culture as technology.

Discord has historically handled usernames with a numeric suffix system. Instead of requiring a completely unique handle, it allowed duplicate names by adding a four-digit code known as a “discriminator” — think TheVerge#1234. But earlier this week, it announced it was changing course…

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