Google Duo began its life a few years ago as a simple app for making two-way video calls using your smartphone.
Over time Google added a web client, and support for making group video calls. And now a senior Google official has announced the company is increasing the number of people that can participate in a group call to 12, up from the previous limit of 8.
The change comes at a time when people around the world are likely relying on internet video services such as Zoom, Hangouts, and FaceTime more than ever due to the stay-at-home and social distancing policies rolling out around the globe as communities and nations try to slow the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19.
As Android Police notes, the Google Duo change appears to be in place already, but it’s not clear at this point whether this is a permanent change or if Google will revert to the 8-person limit at some point in the future.
And there are still some limitations — group calls still aren’t available from a web browser yet. You’ll need to use a mobile device to chat with more one person at a time using Duo.
But according to the original announcement from Google’s Sanaz Ahari, there’s “more to come,” so hopefully we’ll get clarification on that point in the future.