Discord ups streaming viewer limit while coronavirus keeps people at home

(Image credit: Discord)

Discord announced today that it has temporarily increased the Go Live streaming viewer limit from ten to 50. The company hopes the increase will help out those who are working, taking classes, or socializing remotely as a result of the global coronavirus health emergency.

When it released, I said that Discord's Go Live streaming was one of its best features, and I still like it. When you're in a voice channel and running a game, you can click a button (the Go Live button, naturally) to start streaming the game to anyone else in the voice channel who wants to watch. It's a convenient way to share a game and converse about it, and is distinct from putting on a public show on Twitch.

When I dug into Discord's privacy and moderation policies, I also found that Discord doesn't proactively monitor what people stream in their private servers, so another way Go Live differs from Twitch and YouTube is that using it to watch JoJo's Bizarre Adventure with your friends won't get you banned for copyright infringement (even if it's technically not allowed).

If you prefer to chat in Discord DMs and private calls, the limit for video call screensharing has also been upped from ten to 50.

I'm not sure how many companies use Discord for remote working, or if it will really be used to replace any classrooms, but it's possible. Educators are already getting creative with how they navigate facility closures: For example, NYU Game Center professor Robert Yang recently streamed a class about streaming on Twitch due to the school's decision to run classes remotely for the time being. 

I'm not sure there are any classes on Discord server management that can achieve the same kind of conceptual and practical confluence, but it's one option for educators looking for makeshift remote teaching solutions. 

(Update: A Discord rep has pointed out a few examples of educators discussing Discord as a solution for remote teaching on Twitter, so it is indeed being used as advertised, and the 50-viewer limit should help.)

Discord warns that there may be performance issues with large stream audiences, at least for the moment. The 50-viewer limit won't stick around forever, bit Discord says it'll remain in place "while it's most critically needed."

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.