Google Duo Experiencing 800 Percent Increase in Messaging, Introducing New Calling Features

  • COVID-19 has resulted in the surged usage of video conferencing across the globe.
  • Google said that it has seen surged usage of Duo app across the globe especially in areas affected by lockdowns.
  • Google Duo is releasing various features such as automatically saving the messages, snapshot feature, and will soon switch to AV1 video codec.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, video conferencing has been increased initially focusing on remote work tools. Google has recorded a similar increase for Google Duo and announced on Wednesday to release new video conferencing features.

Google Duo recorded 10 million sign up requests for new accounts per week and the quantity of called minutes raised by ten times. Google Duo also recorded the same growth for its built-in chatting feature which allows the users to add AR effects into a video, audio clips, and notes having texts and doodles. In general, there is a recorded increase of 180% in messages being sent across the platform while the messages being shared in regions particularly affected by lockdowns escalated by 800%. The company said that the number of Google Duo group conversations increased eight-folds in the past four weeks.

While video calling services are experiencing a great surge in traffic, Google announced to soon release a feature allowing Duo app to automatically save 24-hour short-lived messages for both the participants. According to Google, the new feature aims to conserve specific important conversations.

Google Duo working on its core functionality released a ‘snapshot’ feature during the video conversation to replace the need for a manual screenshot. Duo added a new shutter button which you can find in the bottom-left corner of your screen during the video call. When you will tap the shutter button, it will capture a photo of both sides and a side-by-side image of both the screens will be automatically shared with both participants by Google Duo.

Google Duo made the new snapshot feature available for smartphones, tablets, and Chromebooks and this moment capturing feature is made available for one-on-one video conversations today. Google Duo plans to release it for more devices and group video calls soon.

In terms of group video calling, Google Duo recently upgraded the participant’s limit of a group video call from 8 users to 12 users at a time during the last month. The company plans to increase this capacity even more in the coming weeks as the competition app to Google Duo, FaceTime comes with the capacity to add up to 32 participants at the same in a group video conversation.

The company is also working to enhance the video quality and reliability of Google Duo and announced that Google Duo will soon switch to AV1 video codec to improve its functionality. Google provided an image comparing the current video quality of Google Duo with the upcoming AV1 video codec using an incoming 30Kbps stream. This is a Google backend standard and will provide 30% better performance for Duo users with a low-speed internet connection. YouTube and Netflix use the same technology and the company plans to release this update for Android users this week and for the iOS app, it will roll out in the coming two weeks. Recently, Google was seen leveraging machine learning to improve audio quality. This reduced voice interruptions by filling in lost sound signals.

Google Duo Experiencing 800 Percent Increase in Messaging, Introducing New Calling Features

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