Discord, the popular voice communication tool for gamers, is currently testing video chat and screen sharing. It hasn’t been all that long since Discord burst onto the scene and took over the PC gamer voice chat market. Gamers used to rent Teamspeak or Mumble servers, or resort to using Skype or Google Hangouts. Discord changed all of that with its modern, easy to use, and free platform. Now they’re targeting what may be the last reasons to keep Skype around; video chat and screen sharing.
According to Nelly, Editor of the Discord Blog and Chief Robot Hamster, testing is currently underway for group video chat and screen sharing.
Video calls will support conversations with up to ten people, though Discord is still doing a lot of testing regarding bandwidth and data load. Quality degrades after getting five people into a call. The reason for that is not only that video takes up a lot of bandwidth, especially high quality video, but also that Discord has chosen not to use the peer-to-peer model.
One of Discord’s mantras is security and they are following that with the implementation of video chat as well. Connections still go through a server, not from one user to another. That might mean lower quality based on your location and connection to the server, but keeps things more secure.
Discord is rolling out this new feature to 5% of its desktop users, so you may or may not have access to it already. What’s especially interesting is that you can video call any of your friends, even if they do not have the feature unlocked. There’s even picture-in-picture support so you never miss that stupid thing your buddy will do when you’re writing a message in another server.
Video calling and screen sharing aren’t expected to hit every Discord user until at least a few months from now, but Skype and Google Hangouts should be shaking in their boots.