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Discord Blog

We’re testing Video Chat and Screen Share with 5% of players, today (updated to 40% on 8/29/2017).

Our blog has moved to our main website! Check us out on discord.com/blog to stay in the loop about future posts.

Update 9/11/2017 3:34 PM PST: The roll out is now up another 10% to a total of 40% of our players.

Update 8/29/2017 5:59 PM PST: The roll out is now up another 10% to a total of 30% of our players.

Update 8/18/2017 3:23 PM PST: The roll out is now up another 10% to a total of 20% of our players.

Update 8/17/2017 2:33 PM PST: We’ve now rolled out video chat to 10% of players, all Discord Partners, and all Discord Nitro subscribers (yes, buying Nitro will get you beta access).

It’s real. It’s kick-flip and-a-sodie-pop real.

Starting today, we will be testing out Video Chat and Screen Sharing with 5% of desktop players (registered before today). This will roll out through the day.

Colors are crunched cuz this GIF is fat

Why do we need a test run? Two reasons:

  1. Compared to voice data, video data is a behemoth and transmitting it across the intertubes takes way more bandwidth. We’re doing this test to see how our servers handle the increase in bandwidth (alternatively, we could launch it for everybody today and most likely nuke our own servers and then nobody gets to use it. Riveting)!
  2. There’s likely bugs, crashes, and other issues that we’ve been unable to catch ourselves. We want to iron as much as we can before launching to everybody. We’re suckers for quality and want to make sure we end up launching the most polished experience we can. Public use gives us a lot of data and feedback to work with so we can accelerate to a full launch.

One of the lucky few? Here’s two things you need to know:

  1. You’ll be able to start video calls with anybody. Yes — that means you can start a call with your friends who didn’t land a critical roll.
  2. It’s possible that we’ll need to completely turn off video calls during this test. If you find the feature is missing all of a sudden, we suggest you lay on the floor and stare at the ceiling until it’s fixed.

When will everyone get this?

We’re still at least a month out from considering a full launch. Why? We’re measuring and testing bandwidth; acquiring and implementing more backend servers; and praying our code actually works. This takes time. It could also be longer than a month.

What we do know is that it’s good enough to start testing and this is the most soon soon that we’ve ever sooned.

Alright, fine. How does it work?

Step 1. Call a friend or group DM.

For now, video chat and screen share are only available in one on one calls and group DMs (not servers). This does mean you can have up to ten people using this feature at once in a call (although you may experience reduced quality after five people).

Step 2. Click the video button.

Once you got the call going, select the video option to show your face parts over the web. Alternatively, select the screen share option to send your screen pixels. Basically, the source can come from your webcam or your screen and you can flip between them seamlessly during a call.

Step 3. Pick a view

While video chatting, you can select one of three views for your arrangement pleasure.

And of course you can full screen for maximum pixel digestion.

Bonus — Picture in Picture

It ain’t the internet without true multi-tasking. If you click away from a group DM during any video call, the main feed will hover on Discord so you can view while roaming your servers and other DMs. You can dock the hovering magical window on any corner in the app.

Thanks for your patience as we develop this feature. If you’re part of the initial rollout, please submit any bumps, bugs, and bruises to us so we can get those fixed.

We’re just as excited as you are to finally get this thing into your grasping claws. Now please, let go of my neck so we can get back to work.

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