Recently, YouTube started shutting down several popular Discord bots that allowed anyone to play videos on the service with friends. Now, there appears to be an official YouTube integration with Discord in testing, though it’s only available on select servers right now.
The feature in testing is called Watch Together, and as the name implies, it allows you to get together with friends on Discord and watch videos from YouTube. Of course, you could also use it to play music from YouTube, which is how many bots were used before they were shut down.
Personally, my friend group used the bots to stream music while playing D&D remotely, so the loss of those bots hurt the epic feel of the games without the music in the background. When Watch Together rolls out to all servers, it’ll be a feature we’re happy to have back.
It’s not a perfect recreation of the bots, though. Instead, it’s similar to the experience of sharing your screen in Discord. And unlike the bots, you will occasionally see and hear ads played, just like you would if you were watching YouTube normally.
This isn’t the first time Discord has tested official YouTube integration. According to The Verge, a similar feature popped up on YouTube about ten months ago and then disappeared. Apparently, the bot shutdown forced Discord to shift its focus back to getting YouTube integration ready for primetime so it could make its users happy.
Currently, the feature is rolling out to Discord friends and family servers. From there, a broader beta to small servers is set to launch, and then mass availability will follow in the next few weeks.