As video calling services are growing more popular during the coronavirus crisis, Google is expanding the number of people you can chat within a group call on its Duo app from eight to 12.
In a tweet, Google senior director of product and design Sana Zahari announced the change, promising “more to come,” without sharing any further details.
We are grateful that Duo is helping users see their loved ones all around the world. We recognize group calling is particularly critical right now. We have increased group calling from 8 participants to 12 effective today. More to come. #AllInThisTogether #COVID19
— Sanaz (@sanazahari) March 27, 2020
Further, Ahari wrote in a separate tweet that Google is monitoring feedback across Duo, Messages, and Dialer. Top requests will get prioritization when it comes to actual implementation, so it sounds like there were a lot of people out there who were requesting a higher participant limit in Duo calls.
The new group call limit is aiming to improve morale and allow large groups of friends and relatives to connect while remaining home-bound. Current health situation in the US is changing rapidly and the country now tops the statistics of registered coronavirus cases worldwide. Social isolation is the best and most effective measure, according to the experts, and staying home is a big part of it.
While Google Duo is available on the web, Android, and iOS, only the mobile clients support group video calling. The new limit makes Google Duo’s group video calling service better than WhatsApp which only allows for group video calls of up to 4 people. It, however, pales in comparison to FaceTime which allows up to 64 participants in a group video call.