Microsoft is reportedly in talks to buy messaging platform Discord for more than $10 billion (£7.2 billion).
Discord is reaching out to potential buyers, according to Bloomberg sources, and Microsoft is believed to have shown an interest.
However, one source suggested that it was more likely that Discord may ultimately decide to go public rather than selling, but other reports have claimed that the platform is already in final talks with a company - thought to be Microsoft.
Discord is a small communications platform that was originally used by gamers to chat and collaborate while in a game.
The firm rebranded in 2020 and opened up the service to more uses cases, and Discord recently suggested that around 70% of active users are on the platform for non-gaming purposes. Many have adopted the service to connect with friends and family for movie nights or quizzes during the pandemic, but there is also a growing community of businesses on Discord.
"Today, there are millions of diverse communities on Discord, from families staying in touch to study groups doing homework together, communities gathering around a hobby and teams collaborating on the production of podcasts," a Discord spokesperson told CNN.
Since its launch in 2015, Discord has seen impressive growth. It almost doubled its number of users from 130 million in 2018 to 250 million in 2019, and last year its valuation reportedly doubled from $3.5 billion in June to $7 billion in November. The platform currently has around 300 million registered users and 140 million monthly active users.
Those numbers could provide some explanation as to why Microsoft might be interested in the platform. Much like its acquisition of LinkedIn, data from Discord could be used to enhance other services - in this case, likely Xbox. LinkedIn data, for example, is used with Outlook, where contacts have their details added to messages instantly.
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Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.
Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognise him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.