Discord Was Recently Plagued by an 'API Outage' — What Is That, Exactly?

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author
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Jan. 26 2022, Published 5:36 p.m. ET

When gamers want to keep in touch with each other, they usually turn to Discord. This messaging app features plenty of bells and whistles that allow gamers to communicate with each other while playing games. You can stream your screen, work co-op on voice chat, and even deflect arguments about how sus you're being in Among Us.

Unfortunately, like any form of social media, Discord isn't immune to outages. And it recently got hit with a big one in the form of an API outage.

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In late January 2022, Discord was plagued by a major API outage which caused all sorts of hiccups. On the user's side, the app wouldn't connect to DMs or servers. Messages wouldn't load for some people, but you'd be considered lucky if Discord even opened to begin with. Outages like this aren't too common, but they're certainly noticeable when they do happen. Here's what you should know.

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What is an "API outage" for Discord?

Let's get the obvious out of the way. "API" is an acronym. It stands for "application programming interface." It refers to the connection between two computers or two computer programs communicating with each other. Put simply, it's the interaction between your devices and apps that occurs every time you use them.

For example, sending messages on Discord or checking Distractify for the hottest takes and WYNTKs on pop culture all occurs within an API.

APIs can be applied to anything that involves an app on a device, but let's bring it back to Discord. Sending and receiving messages on Discord all happens via API. Using any of Discord's communicative functions takes place through this interface. It's a crucial programming aspect that allows users to interact on Discord in a variety of ways.

So, when the API experiences an outage, it'll be noticeable.

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Source: Twitter

An API outage on Discord can result in all sorts of hiccups. You might be able to DM one friend but not another. If you're on a server with multiple channels, some messages will load while others don't. You might even be able to send messages out without being able to see them.

Of course, resolving the issue takes place on Discord's end. The technicians who run the app are tasked with identifying the cause of any sort of outage and trying to fix it as quickly as possible.

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Of course, in the meantime, things can get a little anarchic on other social media sites. During the January 2022 API outage, many users took to Twitter to express their confusion and dismay amidst the lack of Discord.

Some users immediately switched to other chatting platforms while waiting for Discord to go back up. Others suggested that friends get in touch on ancient messaging apps like AIM and Wii U Chat (the latter of which was apparently a thing).

So, if you ever find yourself in another API outage on Discord, don't panic. Just sit back, fire up MySpaceIM, and wait for all of it to blow over.

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