What you need to know

  • Google Duo now allows you to share self-destructing photos with contacts.
  • It requires version 56 of the app which is now live on the Play Store.
  • Photos must be shared via a third-party app as there is no way to initiate sharing in Duo itself.

After several failed attempts to conquer chat, including the shuttering of Allo and impending shutdown of Hangouts, Google is now adding new features to Duo. Starting with version 56 of the app, Duo can now send self-destructing photos.

It's still a little half baked at this point though because you cannot begin the sharing process within Duo itself. Instead, it requires you to initiate sharing via another app such as Google Photos. Surely, this will come in later versions because it's a little convoluted to offer photo sharing without including a file picker in the actual app.

To share a photo via Duo, locate the photo you'd like to send and browse the share menu for the Duo icon. Once you select Duo, you'll be taken to an edit screen which allows you to draw on the photo or add text in a multitude of colors.

After you've finished your editing, your contact list appears and allows you to share the photo with up to five contacts. Afterward, the photo shows up as a square thumbnail with the time sent and a message that it will expire in 24 hours.

From here you can open the photo and choose to call now or reply which opens up the video message screen. While it's not exactly a streamlined feature, the ability to send self-destructing photos is a welcomed addition to Duo.

Many chatting apps offer this feature these days and this could be the first step in turning Duo into a full-featured chatting app. All we're missing now is a feature-rich way of sending texts to our contacts and Duo could start to compete against Whatsapp, Telegram, and others.

How to set up and use Google Duo