Users from a select few countries can now start multiple-person video calls on Google Duo. Google has been developing this feature for the past several months; it was spotted in testing as far back as December.
Now, it's live in a handful of countries such as Indonesia. The functionality currently supports up to four participants.
How To Start Group Calls In Google Duo
To start a group call, select the new "Create Group" button underneath the search bar. Existing apps are listed below and can be saved with a custom name for quick access. After tapping this new option, users can select up to three contacts. The app will then ask to confirm that the user wants to start a group call. The screen will be divided as participants join the group, with up to four feeds appearing on the screen.
Again, Uberti says the feature is currently available for users in select regions only. Google Indonesia is advertising it as a feature for contacting friends and family during the Ramadan period. The feature might support up to eight users down the line, though, as the December reveal showed that many people during a group call.
As to when this might make it to stateside is unclear. It's likely Google is still polishing the feature before widely rolling it out to other markets. Additionally, group calls are only available on the Android version of the app. There's also the matter of Duo potentially replacing Hangouts as a messaging tool, which seems even more likely now that it's got group calling.
Google Duo was released around the same time as Allo, another messaging platform now unfortunately spending time in Google's graveyard. Thankfully, Duo has managed to survive Google's unpredictable habit of killing apps. Not only that — it's also been receiving a lot of support over the past few years, with the ability to record audio messages being added last year. It also recently received a Data Saver mode, which limits video quality to save precious mobile data, and a redesigned homescreen for easier navigation. It's also now possible to make Google Duo calls on the web.