After a lengthy test period, Discord Activities is finally here, giving users access to YouTube Watch Together and a selection of mini games promising fun times with your friends.
This is not the first time we have had a way to play YouTube on Discord. Not too long ago there was a bot called Rythm which was used to play music inside voice channels for all connected members to hear. The bot was inevitably shut down by YouTube, and having had to rely on third-party websites such as WatchParty or Watch2Gether, Discord now belatedly offers baked-in integration.
Discord started testing these new functionalities in September 2021. Back then you had to join a testing server, but now everyone with a Nitro membership should be able to try these activities which include but are not limited to, Putt Party (a mini golf game), Poker Night, Chess In The Park, and Sketch Heads. Only one user needs to have Discord Nitro to be able to launch these activities for all channel participants.
Once your Discord app is up to date, you will see an icon with a rocket logo on it, by clicking it you will have a menu with all available choices. You can then launch a game to play with your friends or add videos to your watch list and enjoy them together. The next step should be Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime integrations, to make discord a complete social gathering spot.
If you can’t find Watch Together in your voice channel, server admins may have turned off the ‘Use Activity’ permission for certain roles, channel levels, or category levels.
Discord didn’t specify if there were any changes to its Watch Together rules. If they are still the same, then video playback will be limited to 180min when watching in a group, or 30min when alone. When this limit is reached, playback will end, and you will have to wait for a 10min cooldown before being able to continue watching. This is probably to avoid unnecessary bandwidth usage by AFK or bots, and a 10-minute delay each three hours is hardly a deal breaker.
The same timer applies no matter what server or voice chat you are in, and each user has his own playback timer. For example, if everyone else has been watching for 170min before you join, they will hit their max before you do. Once your personal limit has been reached you will need to wait for your individual cool-down before re-joining any group sessions or starting a new session.
There is always a Controller (person in charge) in every active Watch Together session. If the Controller leaves the activity or enters the cooldown period, the role of Controller will default to the Viewer who has been in the activity the longest. Note that the Controller cannot prevent videos from being added to the queue but can remove them after being added.