Google Duo To Add More Participants For Group Calls To Compete With WhatsApp


COVID-19 crisis has boosted the popularity of video calling apps for both professional and personal use. Apps like Zoom, Google Duo, and others have garnered popularity since the lockdown was imposed. Now, Google Duo is getting a couple of upgrades including the number of participants and more.

Google Duo Latest Feature Adds More Participants For Group Calls


Google's blog post noted that the coming weeks will rollout a few new features for the Google Duo platform. The new features include Duo Moments, where Duo users can take screenshots during a video call. Google will also be increasing the number of participants on a group call.

More importantly, Google is bringing in a few changes related to the quality of the video call. Currently, a group call on Google Duo can have a maximum of eight participants. Google notes that more up to 12 participants can be added to a group call now.

Google Duo To Improve Video Quality

According to the blog post, the Duo app is adding nearly 10 million new users per week, especially in lockdown-imposed countries- the number of app downloads has increased by more than ten-fold. This is why Google is improving the video quality with its latest "AV1 (AOMedia Video 1) video codec technology", which improves the quality even on low bandwidth connections.

Google has also introduced Duo Moments to capture important screenshots. To enable the Duo Moments feature, Android users need to go to the Settings > Call Settings > switch on Google Moments. Apple iPad and iPhone users can switch on Duo Moments by going to Settings > turn on Google Moments. However, this feature isn't available on group video calls yet.

The company noted that Google Duo users are sending 180 percent more messages, even more in regions impacted by social distancing. This is why users will now be able to save their video and voice messages that earlier disappeared within a day after sending it.


Will This Help?

The move to add more participants on Google Duo is certainly a welcome one. Notably, the announcement comes just a few days after WhatsApp announced that it would be allowing more participants to join a group call. Earlier, WhatsApp group calls allowed only up to four participants, which has now been increased to eight.

It looks like Google Duo is staying a step ahead by adding in support for up to 12 participants. Other features like improved video quality will further help boost Duo's popularity as people make calls during the coronavirus lockdown.

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