Discord announced that it has started testing its video chat and screen sharing with 5% of desktop users that had registered before August 9, 2017. They were doing a test run that rolled out over the day. It is unclear how long the test run will continue.
Discord is a voice chat service. It explained that it needs a test run on video chat and screen sharing before it can release these features to everyone for two reasons.
One reason is because, compared to voice data, “video data is a behemoth” and transmitting it takes way more bandwidth. Discord is doing this beta test to see how their servers handle the increase in bandwidth. They said they could launch it for everyone, but that it would “most likely nuke our own servers and then nobody gets to use it.”
The other reason they needed a test run was because there are likely bugs, crashes, and other issues that Discord was unable to catch themselves. This should be obvious to anyone who has used and/or tested a beta version of something.
Those who got into the test run were able to start video calls with anybody – including people who were not in the test run. Discord warned that there was a possibility that they would have to suddenly turn off video calls during the test.
Discord made it clear that they are at least a month out from considering a full launch of the video chat and screen share features. Those who want to know more about how those features work can check out a brief tutorial that Discord added to their post about the test run.