It may still be called Google Duo but this video chat mobile app is not just meant for two people anymore. Just last month, they started rolling out group calls so you can use it either for professional reasons or for personal ones. At that time though, this feature was limited to just four participants. However, when Google gave a preview of the group call feature, what they showed was a maximum of eight people on a call. That test has now become a reality.
Google’s tech lead on Google Duo, Justin Uberti, posted on Twitter that they were “increasing the group size limit” and then included eight human emojis on the tweet. Sure enough, when the folks at Android Police checked out their Duo app, they are now able to add seven more people when starting a group call. This finally “fulfills” the test on the app we saw a few months ago where there was space for eight people when you made a group call.
Having eight people on a call is still a long way from the 32 people that Apple’s FaceTime has but it’s a start. And you probably don’t really want that many people on a single call unless it’s making an announcement to family members or to your colleagues. But if it’s just having a meeting for a project or planning a dinner with friends, 8 seems to be a manageable number for a group video call.
It looks like you don’t need to update the app to the latest version to enjoy the increased participants in a video call. Users are just seeing it appear on their apps without doing anything. But if you don’t see it yet, maybe the server-side change hasn’t yet reached your account.
We don’t know though if Google will be planning to change the name of Duo to Ocho as cheekily suggested by Android Police. That’s probably unlikely as the app seems to be doing well in terms of usage unlike its unfortunate cousin Allo who has said goodbye to the digital world.
Increasing the group size limit… 👨👩👱♀️🧑👩🦰👨🦲👧🧔
— Justin Uberti (@juberti) May 21, 2019