Discord has already taken steps to make its platform more helpful to those affected by coronavirus lockdown, now it’s added a new video call feature to help keep its users connected to friends and family. Today, Server Video chat rolls out to everyone on desktop, web and iOS — Android is on the way.
Discord has had a video chat function since 2017, so the concept isn’t wildly new. Server Video, however, is a little different in that it — as Discord says — is better suited to drop-in, drop-out conversation: “Either hang out in a video call with a few friends or just chill by yourself so others can see when you’re open to talk.” A similar premise to Houseparty, then.
While Discord has in recent times taken steps to position itself as more of a chat platform — perhaps even as an alternative to the likes of Zoom, which has exploded in popularity lately — it was ultimately designed for the gaming community, and Server Video reflects this. As well as just video chatting, the feature lets users chat and go live at the same time, so you can show your own camera while you’re streaming a game or sharing your screen.
As Discord says in its blog post, the advent of the coronavirus prompted it to prioritize helping folk spend more face to face time together. It also notes that “updates to Discord are driven by community feedback,” so we can probably expect more tweaks and features in the future, designed to make Discord a viable alternative to some of the more established video chatting platforms.