Google will increase the maximum number of Duo call participants from eight to 12 because of COVID-19.
In a recent tweet, Google’s senior director of product management, Sanaz Ahari Lemelson, announced the change. Lemelson noted that Google recognizes that “group calling is particularly critical right now.”
We are grateful that Duo is helping users see their loved ones all around the world. We recognize group calling is particularly critical right now. We have increased group calling from 8 participants to 12 effective today. More to come. #AllInThisTogether #COVID19
— Sanaz (@sanazahari) March 27, 2020
The change will be effective starting March 27th. However, Lemelson didn’t specify whether the increased number of call participants would be a permanent change. However, Lemelson indicated that more details will come in the future, so we could learn if the increased limit is permanent soon.
Duo first added support for eight-person video calls in May 2019, an increase from the previous limit of four.
To compare, other video call apps offer larger participant limits. Apple’s FaceTime supports 32 callers, while Skype and Messenger both support 50. Zoom’s free tier lets up to 100 people participate, while Google’s enterprise-focused Hangouts Meet service supports up to 250 participants for G Suite and G Suite for Education subscribers.