Signalling through the B cell antigen receptor (BCR) is required for peripheral B lymphocyte maturation, maintenance, activation and silencing. In mature B cells, the antigen receptor normally consists of two isotypes, membrane IgM and IgD (mIgM, mIgD). Although the signals initiated from both isotypes differ in kinetics and intensity, in vivo, the BCR of either isotype seems to be able to compensate for the loss of the other, reflected by the mild phenotypes of mice deficient for mIgM or mIgD. Thus, it is still unclear why mature B cells need expression of mIgD in addition to mIgM. In the current review we suggest that the view that IgD has a simply definable function centred around the basic signalling function should be replaced by the assumption that IgD fine tunes humoral responses, modulates B cell selection and homeostasis and thus shapes the B cell repertoire, defining IgD to be a key modulator of the humoral immune response.