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

enlarge / One day, Google’s message line will look like this (assuming Google can stop launching competing products).

Ron Amadeo

The long-rumored Google Duo and Google Meet merger is actually happening. Google officially confirmed the move on Wednesday, explaining in a blog post that the goal is to create a “single video communication service” and that the Duo branding will disappear in favor of Google Meet.

While the Google Duo brand is dying, it sounds like Duo Code library Will continue to serve as the foundation for the new Google Meet. Google says that “Duo’s existing video calling capabilities will continue” and that “over the next few weeks, we’ll be adding all Google Meet features to the Duo app, so users can easily schedule video meetings at the right time. “

The move comes after Google unifies its communications team in 2020 under Javier Soltero, vice president and general manager of Google Workspace, author of a Google blog post. Google hasn’t clarified which products are being unified, but it should That means Google Hangouts, Google Meet, Google Chat, Google Messages, Google Duo, and Google Voice will all live under one roof.

Here’s a quick look at the long history of Google’s communication apps: Google Duo launched in 2016 as a standalone video chat app with a “companion” messaging app called “Google Allo.” Two years ago, Google had just failed in its attempt to acquire WhatsApp (Facebook bought WhatsApp for $22 billion), so it launched Copier for Google Allo, a straight-up WhatsApp clone. It uses SMS-based phone number identification instead of Google accounts, and is limited to one device at a time, following the very non-Google way WhatsApp works.

It might seem odd to launch two communication apps at the same time, but the idea is that Google could make Duo a companion to WhatsApp and Allo. Typically, a company should include video chat in its new messaging app — like Hangouts or Facebook Messenger or (eventually) WhatsApp. Presumably, though, Google knew it couldn’t compete with the WhatsApp giant in chat, so it made a standalone video app, complete with a Whatsapp clone. WhatsApp users can stay and chat on WhatsApp, but they can add this Duo app to their arsenal.

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