Discord is launching a Nitro Basic subscription alongside a new Activities feature that includes YouTube integration and casual games. The YouTube integration comes more than a year after the Google-owned video service forced two popular Discord music bots offline. Discord has been testing this YouTube Watch Together feature for more than a year, which allows Discord members to watch YouTube videos in sync.
While it’s not a straight replacement for the popular Discord YouTube bots, it’s certainly a lot more interactive. Discord users can create a playlist of videos that can be played, and friends will have to join the activity to watch and listen. It also arrives weeks after Discord users began noticing more bots that rely on YouTube integration disappearing or no longer supporting YouTube. This official YouTube integration is now part of a broader Activities feature that’s rolling out to Discord users today.
A new rocket ship button in Discord voice channels will trigger this new Activities feature, and it also includes access to casual games. All Discord users will get access to YouTube Watch Together and a Putt Party golf game, but you’ll need Discord Nitro to launch poker, chess, sketch, and other games. Only one person needs Nitro to launch these extra games, and anyone can join once the game is launched.
I’ve been playing around with these Discord casual games over the weekend, and they’re a lot more accessible and fun than having to share a link to a webpage with friends. The Poker Night game is particularly addicting if you’re in a server with lots of friends, and I’m intrigued to see where Discord goes with this. The original promise of Google Stadia was about making it easy to share and enjoy games together, and it feels like Discord could be in a position to team up with game streaming services and developers to make this a reality.
Alongside the launch of Activities, there’s a new Discord Nitro plan. The $2.99 per month Nitro Basic subscription will allow Discord users to use custom emoji and upload 50MB files, but it won’t include the server boosts, HD video streaming, animated avatars, and custom profiles found in the regular $9.99 Nitro plan.
Nitro Basic will be available on October 20th globally after appearing initially in the UK over the past few months. It’s certainly a less expensive option if you need access to server emoji and file uploads, but it won’t let you start most of the casual games since you’ll need the full Discord Nitro for that.
Discord admins will also be able to start browsing an app directory of Discord apps starting tomorrow. That should make it easier to get a server up and running with all the bots you need for moderation, automation, and more. Discord is even starting to experiment with premium app subscriptions, allowing developers to start selling premium features for their native Discord apps.
“The world of apps is a big part of Discord, and we want our platform to be a place where developers can explore their creativity, and that includes app developers who want to earn money,” says Discord in a blog post. “So we’re experimenting with Premium App Subscriptions and enabling a small group of developers to sell premium features of their apps natively on Discord.”