Google added new features to Duo back in May that brought a new family mode along with a doodle feature to the service. The search giant also extended support for video calls to the web, albeit in preview on the Chrome browser, and added the ability to generate invite links for group calls. The company also confirmed that it intended to increase the participant limit for video calls to 32.
Today, the company announced on Twitter (spotted by OnMSFT) that the ability to conduct group calls with up to 32 participants is rolling out for Duo on the web. The firm says that the feature is one of the most requested ones for Duo and that it will only work on the latest version of Chrome. Users can head to duo.google.com, sign-in into their Google account, and click on the “Create group link” button to create a group and share the invite link with intended users.
1/Today one of our most requested features for Duo, group calling on the web with up to 32 people, is starting to roll out on the latest version of Chrome. pic.twitter.com/hjnL96iVcz— Sanaz (@sanazahari) June 16, 2020
The company adds that it has been “working very hard making sure group calls stay secure” for the service on the web. It is using the new WebRTC API that was introduced with Chrome 83, which enables end-to-end encryption.
The increase in participant limit is applicable only to the web client. The Android app’s limit is still capped at 12 participants, and it is not clear if the mobile version of the app will receive this feature. Regardless, it is a welcome addition for users that rely on this service on the web, especially considering the increased screen real estate available on devices with larger displays that the app can leverage.
With the usage of video calling and conferencing services surging in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the firm is adding more features and capabilities to the service to make it a viable alternative to its rivals such as Zoom.