Google Meet and Duo Will Finally Become a Single Video Chat App

The long-rumored Google Duo and Google Meet merger is definitely occurring. Google formally confirmed the transfer on June 1, explaining in a weblog publish that the objective is to create a “single video communications service” and that the Duo model will go away in favor of Google Meet.

Whereas the Google Duo model is dying, it sounds just like the Duo code base will reside on as the premise for the brand new Google Meet. Google says that “current video calling options from Duo are right here to remain” and that “within the coming weeks, we’re including all of the Google Meet options to the Duo app, so customers can simply schedule a video assembly at a time that works for everybody, or proceed utilizing video calling to immediately join with an individual or group. Later this yr, we’ll rename the Duo app to Google Meet, our single video communications service throughout Google that’s obtainable to everybody for free of charge.”

The transfer comes after Google unified its communication teams beneath Google Workspace VP and GM Javier Soltero (the writer of Google’s weblog publish) in 2020. Google has not clarified which merchandise are being unified, but it surely ought to imply that Google Hangouts, Google Meet, Google Chat, Google Messages, Google Duo, and Google Voice will all reside beneath one roof.

Here is a fast recap of the long history of Google communication apps: Google Duo launched in 2016 as a standalone video chat app with a “companion” messaging app known as “Google Allo.” Google had simply failed in its try to buy WhatsApp two years earlier (Fb made the $22 billion acquisition as a substitute), so it fired up its photocopiers for Google Allo, which was a straight-up WhatsApp clone. It used SMS-based cellphone quantity identification as a substitute of a Google account, and it was restricted to at least one gadget at a time, following the very non-Googley way that WhatsApp works.

Launching two communication apps on the identical time appeared unusual, however the concept was that Google might pitch Duo as a companion to WhatsApp in addition to Allo. Usually, an organization can be anticipated to incorporate video chat capabilities in its new messaging app—like Hangouts or Fb Messenger or (finally) WhatsApp. Presumably, although, Google knew it couldn’t compete with the WhatsApp juggernaut in chat, so a standalone video app was made, with a Whatsapp clone to go along with it. WhatsApp customers can keep on WhatsApp for chat, however they will add this Duo app to their arsenal.

WhatsApp didn’t have video chat options on the time, and Duo was rushed to market (it launched earlier than Allo) to beat WhatsApps’ impending video rollout. Each Allo and Duo launched first in India—WhatsApps’ strongest market—and Duo was constructed from the bottom as much as present video chat over the slowest Web connections. The technique labored, and whereas Allo died after two and a half years, Duo was in a position to reside on. To my data, Google has by no means shared lively person stats, however Duo turned a default Android app in 2016, so it has greater than 5 billion Play Retailer downloads, like each different default Android app.

Whereas Duo was all about Google’s WhatsApp envy, Google Meet is a manifestation of Google’s Zoom envy. Technically, Meet launched in 2017 as a enterprise video assembly product from the G Suite crew, but it surely was back-burnered for years. When the pandemic hit in 2020 and Zoom utilization exploded, Google Meet was drafted as Google’s reply.

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