Disable / Remove AFK Channel Timer

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1 comment

  • Misha

    I'm going to preface this by saying that I don't really understand exactly what your feedback is here. But you mentioned the AFK Timer being too short (in addition to a lot of other things about server management) so I'm going to focus solely on the AFK Timer.

     

    Bandwidth costs money. Idling in a voice channel costs bandwidth. Even if they aren't at their computer, the computer is still connected and the server is still sending data to it. That data is bandwidth and it costs Discord money. Discord is free for us to use, but not free for Discord's ownership to run. 

    Discord has over 250 million unique users (https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-05-13-discord-reaches-250m-users-after-just-four-years). Assuming that just 1% of that base uses voice chats at once, that's 2.5 million people consuming Discord's bandwidth. With each channel default bandwidth set to 64kbps (kilobits per second), that's 160,000,000kbps (160,000mbps/160gbps). Since there are 8 bits in a byte, this equates to 20 GB (GigaBytes) every second.

    Using Microsoft Azure (https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/bandwidth/) as an example of bandwidth costs (this is most likely more expensive than what Discord is being charged), let's assume Discord has committed to their 150-500 TB per Month Minimum usage plan. So every GB of bandwidth they use costs a nickel. Every second costs a dollar (20 GB per second, $0.05 cents per GB). A 30 day month has 2,592,000 seconds in it, so Discord would be charged $2.6 Million Dollars Every 30 Days just to provide voice data to everyone who uses it.

    As I said, Discord is most likely not spending that much for bandwidth. When you reach that level of bandwidth, you've made a deal with a datacenter (or created your own) just to handle the amount of traffic you're using, but it's still going to be, at the very least, hundreds of thousands of dollars a month.

    The reason the Auto AFK feature exists is to reduce bandwidth and reduce costs. Every single user in a voice channel is consuming bandwidth, regardless of whether they are actually listening. The AFK Channel consumes zero (0) bandwidth. The entire purpose of automatically kicking inactive users from a voice channel is to help keep the costs of bandwidth to a minimum.

    Now that you have an idea of how much it is costing Discord to provide you with their free to use service, how do you propose Discord change to allow users to stay inactive in channels longer? They really only have 2 options and you're not going to like either. They can reduce that 64kbps to something lower, but this will make every user sound much worse. Or they can charge everyone every month for the amount of bandwidth they have consumed (or a flat fee every month regardless of usage).

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