Google Duo wants to add fun to your everyday video calls with friends and family. The tech giant announced (opens in new tab) that Google Duo on the web will soon let you make group calls with up to 32 participants, Chrome Unboxed (opens in new tab) reports.
The new Duo for web (opens in new tab) group call functionality will preview on Chrome in the coming weeks. A revamped layout will let you see more participants simultaneously, which should be a welcome feature for hosting online birthday parties and other events made difficult by stay-at-home orders. Anyone with a Google account will be able to join a group call via an invite link, like with Google Meet.
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Google Duo is traditionally a casual face-to-face free video calling app for mobile devices. Where Google Meet and Zoom are suitable for business videoconferencing and remote learning, Duo is the fun, consumer-friendly alternative video calling app. That makes it a direct competitor to the new Facebook Messenger Rooms.
Duo's family mode features let you doodle or add cool effects on video calls. You can turn yourself into a flower, a dinosaur, or an astronaut with the app's adorable visuals. Use your Google account to sign into Duo, start a video call, and select "Family" to check it out.
News about the Google Duo group chat update arrives just weeks after Google Meet became free for all users. Formerly, the video calling app was exclusive to G Suite and enterprise and educators.
Google Duo works on Android, iPhones, web, tablets, and Nest Hub Max.