Discord’s live streaming features will begin rolling out this week

Go Live aims to deliver a "virtual couch gaming experience."

Discord is launching a feature set called Go Live that will allow users to livestream games to channels and share with friends. The new features will begin rolling out August 15, and the plan is to have it available to all users about two weeks after that.

While the live streaming market has opened up a bit since Ninja’s prominent move from Twitch to Mixer, Discord’s goal with Go Live is different. Instead of pulling in as many viewers as possible, the idea with Go Live is to recreate the feeling of hanging out on the sofa with friends as you chat and play games. Go Live allows up to 10 friends to watch as they talk in a shared voice channel with the streamer.

Pleasantly, there’s no fiddly setup process involved with Go Live. Discord says you can start streaming in Go Live at the touch of a button, and friends can join in from either the desktop app or Discord’s browser version, with mobile spectating expected to roll out by the year’s end.

There are a few other limitations. Discord says Nitro Classic subscribers will be able to stream 1080p video at 60 fps, while Nitro subscribers will be able to go up to 4K at 60 fps. These are described as ‘perks,’ which presumably means free users will be limited to some resolution below 1080p and possibly less than 60 fps.

Still, I can see this being a fun feature given the social spaces that develop in most Discord servers. Having viewers limited to ten means the player streaming will likely feel less pressured to perform for a large audience (real or imagined), and it could be cool to hop in a server and have a look around to see who’s playing what. Plus, getting into the habit of having Discord running Go Live while you’re playing may well make gaming a less solitary experience if your friends can drop in and say hi.

On the other hand, I’ve disabled Steam chat notifications in my client for this exact reason.