Today, Discord is rolling out screensharing to its mobile users. It’s a smart move; earlier this summer, the company’s mobile app was hitting lifetime highs for downloads every day.
Mobile screensharing means that you can just share your screen — and whatever you’re watching — with anyone in a voice channel. That means you can watch everything from TikTok to Twitch with any of your friends from anywhere in the world, in real time. While chatting.
I saw a demo of the feature recently, and more than anything else, I found the simplicity astonishing. In our pandemic year, I’ve spent so much time socializing virtually — sometimes on Discord, sometimes not — and it’s underscored the importance of casual hangouts; spontaneity is one of the many things the pandemic has taken from everyday life.
Features like this one can return a little bit of that back to social interaction, I think, because it allows users to drop in and out whenever. I can screenshare to a Discord voice channel and any of my friends can just join me in whatever I feel like doing, be it Among Us or just scrolling through my camera roll.
Anything that makes it easier to be with people is good, in my book. But given how much time I’ve spent with people in various Discord servers this year, a feature like this one feels quietly revelatory. I miss hanging out on a friend’s couch and talking about nothing in particular; after this year, it’s something I’ll never take for granted again.
This new feature is about as close as technology can get to replicating that feeling.