So today I noticed that Discord is testing a new feature effectively promotes well-established Discord bots. Here is a screenshot for those who haven't seen it yet:
As a Discord bot developer, I can only see this feature doing more harm than good in its current form since it will promote already huge bots while making it harder for new bot developers to get their bot out there, thus creating an unfair playing field bot developers. I don't think this feature should be removed completely as I believe that it can be highly beneficial to bot developers if it's fully thought through, however I do believe that some serious changes need to be made in order to level the playing field for bot developers.
1) Allow bot developers to submit an application to have their bot added to the tab.
My first and most paramount suggestion would be to implement an application/curation system to allow bot developers to submit an application to have their bot added to the list. This would give developers the opportunity to have their bot added to the list and "compete" (for lack of a better term) with the bigger bots on a much more level playing field.
The reason why this is important is because this is the official bot catalogue so this list of bots would naturally be the first place a server admin would look if a new bot was to be added. Any bot not on this list would likely either be left unconsidered, unknown, or not be considered trustworthy (or at least, be considered less trustworthy.) If this list only consists of hand-picked bots, then that would exclude a huge number of Discord bots that are currently out there, many of which have quirks and features that many of the larger Discord bots don't have. Bot developers already have difficulty getting their bot out in the open and leaving this list as a hand-picked selection of bots would make this an even more difficult task.
If Discord still want some way of selecting bots that they feel deserve a certain degree of merit, then I believe a fair compromise would be to add a Featured Bots section within the Bots tab.
2) Add a search function, metadata, and bot pages
Going hand-in-hand with the above feature, adding a search feature and allowing developers to categorise or tag their bots according what role or purpose the bot fulfils (e.g. moderation, fun, music.etc.) This will allow server admins to quickly find what kind of bot they're looking for and find the one that's right for them.
Upon clicking on a bot, the user could then be shown a page that gives a brief description of what the does (which would obviously be specified by the developer) as well who the developer is along with other metadata such as the number of servers that the bot is in. A rating system may also be a potential feature could be implemented into this.
So these are my suggestions for the new Bots feature. This feature in its current state may be beneficial for the average user, but it seriously screws over bot developers (unless you're the developer one of the big Discord bots of course) and makes the already hard task of getting your bot out there even harder which could potentially turn people away from developing bots and apps for Discord. I feel like the changes I've proposed will improve this feature not only for admins and everyday users, but it will also even the playing field for bot developers.