Discord has started testing official YouTube integration, rolling out a new feature named Watch Together which, well, allows users watch YouTube vids together. It comes just a few weeks after Google's lawyers shut down several third-party Discord bots with a similar function. Watch Together has reportedly been enabled in a limited number of Discord servers for now, with plans to roll it out to everyone by the end of October.
According to The Verge, the feature first began testing last year before returning now as Watch Together. They say Discord have re-prioritised it due to the recent music bot shutdowns.
You can test Watch Together right now in the Discord Game Lab server. An announcement there says it's currently in the "experimentation phase", and there are channels to provide feedback on the feature if you fancy giving it a go.
To try it, hop into a voice channel and select "start an activity", near the button you'd click to stream your screen. From there, you can select Watch Together and create a playlist of YouTube vids (by searching YouTube or pasting links) that folks in the same channel as you can watch at the same time. Bear in mind that you might see YouTube ads, however.
The Verge says Watch Together is only available in certain Discord friends and family servers for now, and will be followed by a larger beta in the coming weeks. They claim that Discord plan on launching the feature for everyone by the end of October.
It seems like a decent enough replacement for the excellent music bots, Groovy and Rythm, I suppose. They allowed Discord users to listen to music together by playing songs from the likes of YouTube or Spotify. Unfortunately, Google filed a cease and desist notice claiming Groovy was violating their terms of service by "modifying the service and using it for commercial purposes", so the bot-makers shut it down.
I'm still gutted that Groovy isn't around anymore. We still have a channel in the main Discord server I frequent titled "DJ Requests", full of memories of the dumb songs my friends and I would get Groovy to play to annoy each other. One of my mates tried to put a song request in just the other day (we were after the Pirates Of The Caribbean soundtrack for reasons I cannot remember), and when nothing happened I had to remind them of the poor bot's demise.