Privacy and Performance
User privacy is important to us at discord and has guided us in our decisions for the direction of our API. This philosophy lead us to introducing privileged intents to the gateway, and lead us to adding Message Content to that list. In case you haven’t heard, starting August 30th, 2022, Message Content will become a privileged intent. You can read that announcement here.
This move allows us to ensure malicious bots can’t monitor user activity on the platform. It also introduces a problem, however. By far the most popular way to interact with bots is to send a message in a text channel with some signifier to denote the message as a command. These commands would no longer function without the message content intent. Slash commands were designed to simulate this functionality without an application needing to read messages, while improving upon the user experience of using one of these commands.
The move to commands wasn’t just about security and privacy, we’ve also added a ton of functionality to bot commands built in at the platform level to give every bot easy access to things like role restrictions, localization and auto-complete.