It has been announced by Google that it is planning forward for replacing Duo, i.e. its video calling service, with Meet, i.e. its video conferencing service. The COVID 19 pandemic had led to a huge increase in demand for video conferencing services because offices were forced to shut down and people were only left with an option to work from their homes. Video conferencing app Zoom became an overnight sensation that led to millions of downloads in the span of February to March months. Google Meet had kept its foot as Zoom’s competitor in the competitive segment. G Suite head Javier Soltero has decided to create Meet Google’s as one video calling service that serves to both regular and enterprise customers.
According to 9to5Google, Google is calling this merging project of 2 apps as DUET (Duo and Meet). Google is further planning to bring many key features from Duo over to Meet with a motive to enhance the capabilities of the app. And then Duo will slowly phase out.
Google employees were told by Soltero that having both Meet and Duo does not make sense when one app can perform both their functions. Hence, as a result of considering this thought, Soltero wants to make the Meet as the one service that can take over for both enterprise and regular customers.
According to 9to5Google, Solterao’s announcement did put Google employees working on Duo into shock. In the last few years, Duo has been regularly releasing updates. After its Merger with Meet, Duo will no longer exist and the team which is working on it will be handling the updates for Meet.
It could take up to two years but there is no fixed timeline for this transition. However, Google has commenced that its merger plan does not mean that they will completely abandon Duo until the merger is complete.
Google is “fully invested in Duo” and that the firm will be continuing to invest in “building new Duo features and delivering a delightful experience for our users, customers, and partners.” It also adds that Google is looking at ways for improving its calling services alongside one another.
This decision is the result of Google placing its consumer communication services (Duo, Android’s Phone app, and Messages) under the leadership of Mr. Javier Soltero. After the unification of the team was made public in the month of May, he announced to the employees that it does not make sense that two of the video calling apps, Duo and Meet to coexist.
To replace Hangouts, as one half of the company’s new consumer messaging strategy, Google Duo was announced at I/O 2016. Google’s text messaging service named Allo was floundered and Duo achieved great success as an app that was focused on video.
Since its launch, the service has added group calling, a web client, the ability to send story-esque audio and video messages, but yet it remained very simple to use with a list of contacts that one can tap to begin a call. The Duo is integrated with Google Phone dialer and Google Messages, and recently it added the ability to let people be reached through email addresses. For all intents and purposes, Duo’s pre-installed nature made it Google’s FaceTime equivalent.
In the month of April, an update was launched introducing the AV1 codec for improving the video call quality, larger groups, built-in screenshots, and the facility to save messages. Later in early May month, Google followed that up with a “Family mode,” that has an amazing facility of 32-person calls, link-based invites, and more virtual effects.
According to the sources of 9to5Google, it has been made clear that by the end of this merge, Duo will be all set to go away, and that engineers who previously worked on the consumer product will now be tasked with Meet enterprise development or leave the team.
The matter of fact is that in recent months Meet usage has skyrocketed past Duo. By the end of April month, Google announced that peak daily usage of Meet grew by 30x with three billion minutes of video meetings that particular month, and almost three million daily new users. In addition to that, daily meeting participants surpassed a hundred million. In comparison, Google reported that Duo had an 8x surge in group calls that specific month, as well as ten million sign-ups per week with a ten-fold increase in call minutes.
Lastly, Google said that the firm “looking at ways that our video calling products can improve alongside one another” and further referring to the two services won’t always remain independent in the future. The company also said “We’re fully invested in Duo, which has seen astonishing growth during the pandemic. People around the world are relying on video calling more than ever, and we have no plans to interrupt that. We’ll continue to invest in building new Duo features and delivering a delightful experience for our users, customers, and partners. We brought the Duo organization under Javier Soltero’s leadership in May, and it follows that we’re looking at ways that our video calling products can improve alongside one another.”