Google wants a single video messaging app, will merge Google Meet and Duo

Enlarge / One day, Google’s messaging lineup will look like this (assuming Google can stop launching competing products).

Ron Amadeo

The long rumor The merger of Google Duo and Google Meet is underway. Google officially confirmed the move on Wednesday, explaining in a blog post that the goal is to create a “one-stop video communication service” and that the Duo brand will disappear in favor of Google Meet.

As the Google Duo brand dies, it sounds like the Duo codebase will live on as the basis for the new Google Meet. Google says “the existing Duo video calling features are here to stay” and that “in the coming weeks, we’ll be adding all Google Meet features to the Duo app, so users can easily schedule a meeting.” video at a time that works for everyone, or continue to use video calling to instantly connect with one person or a group. Later this year, we’re renaming the Duo app to Google Meet, our unique video communication service on Google, accessible to everyone free of charge.

The move comes after Google unified its communications teams under Google Workspace VP and GM Javier Soltero (Google’s blog writer) in 2020. Google didn’t specify which products are unified, but it should This means that Google Hangouts, Google Meet, Google Chat, Google Messages, Google Duo, and Google Voice will all live under one roof.

Here’s a quick recap of the long history of Google communication apps: Google Duo was launched in 2016 as a standalone video chat app with a “companion” messaging app called “Google Allo”. Google had just failed in its bid to buy WhatsApp two years earlier (Facebook had acquired $22 billion instead), so it turned on its photocopiers for Google Allo, which was a true WhatsApp clone. . It used SMS phone number identification instead of a Google account, and it was limited to one device at a time, following the very non-Googley way WhatsApp works.

Launching two communication apps at the same time seemed odd, but the idea was that Google could offer Duo as a companion to WhatsApp as well as Allo. Normally, a business would include video chat functionality in its new messaging app, like Hangouts or Facebook Messenger or (possibly) WhatsApp. Presumably, however, Google knew it couldn’t compete with the WhatsApp juggernaut in chat, so a standalone video app was created, with a Whatsapp clone to go along with it. WhatsApp users can stay on WhatsApp to chat, but they can add this Duo app to their arsenal.


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