Google might be killing off Duo in favor of Meet

Google Duo on Android
Google Duo on Android (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda/Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google reportedly plans to kill off Duo and reposition Meet as its premier video-calling experience.
  • Meet is to pick up all of Google Duo's features over a two-year transition period.
  • Google had previously billed Duo as a consumer app and Meet as a business app.

Google is set to kill off Duo, its consumer-focused video-calling app, in favor of Meet. The former app had debuted with Google Allo, but had seen some success where Allo hadn't, granting it longevity of sorts. Now, with Meet gaining popularity, google seemingly wants to combine its video messaging efforts into once.

9to5Google broke the news this evening, reporting:

This decision is the result of Google placing its consumer communication services — Duo, Messages, and Android's Phone app — under the leadership of G Suite head Javier Soltero. After the unified team was made public in May, Soltero announced to employees that it does not make sense for Duo and Meet to coexist.Following the rise of work from home and remote learning, Google has moved aggressively to make Meet a Zoom competitor. Like Duo, it's now "free for everyone" to use and going after the same market.With all the focus on Meet, the new messaging chief opted to have the service become Google's one video calling service for both regular and enterprise customers. Internally, this is being described as a merger of the two services that is codenamed "Duet" — a portmanteau of Duo and Meet.We're told by sources that this new direction and the reduced interest in building a dedicated consumer service came as a surprise to the Duo team.

It's a bit perplexing on the one hand, considering how simple and easy to use Duo is. The plan to separate them by use-case was brilliant on the face of it, consumers would have a Facetime competitor and businesses could have a Skype counterpart. On the other hand, Meet has grown by leaps and bounds in popularity, and the pandemic may have shown Google trends it just couldn't ignore. For what it's worth, Google tells 9to5 that Duo has seen "astonishing growth" in the same period as well.

Duo won't die immediately, the report says that Google aims to bring over all of Duo's features into Meet over the next two years. Then, it'll head to the Google graveyard to join apps like Play Music, Allo, and Hangouts.

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24 Comments
  • I am shocked and appalled!
  • My head hurts!
  • This time next year, Google kills meet and launches "YouTube calls" to replace it.
  • Seriously annoying. Duo was so easy to use for phone calls. Better connectivity then whatsapp and much simpler and pared down relative to a more consumer business type app such as zoom or Skype. Why does Google always have to do this sort of thing?
  • Dear Google... STOP IT! Obviously nobody who runs these product teams has families and provides tech support for them /s
  • Indeed. I had just gotten my parents too have confidence using it when talking to their grandkids.
  • Wow that is crazy
  • Samsung will have to issue an update to its One UI since Google is backed into its phone and messaging apps. On one hand, its frustrating. I thought Duo was here to stay. It was picking up traction. I told people to use it for Android phones. Maybe replacing it with Meet is a good idea. But Google needs to make the transition seemless. Make it so that Google Meet is the app udpate to Duo
  • Means nothing to me. I use both already for work and personal. Literally a non-factor
  • Yeah but Duo is E2E and Meet is not right? So no thanks. Unless meet is fully encrypted it does not meet my needs. I'll stick with Signal thanks Google.
  • I really liked Duo the way it is now and like others here I recently convinced quite a few people to use it. As usual, now I will look like an idiot for recommending something that's getting killed off.
  • Well can't say I'm not surprised
  • So... You are surprised!
  • Google is nothing more than a serial killer.
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  • ☝️Honestly the most appropriate response you can have to this ridiculousness lol
  • Just typical Google really and the year they've had to date it's just another poor showing. How many attempts is this for Google to try and get a decent rival to Facetime? Apple have them beat in both facetime and iMessage and there's literally nothing they can do about it.
  • What a joke Google apps have become. How about one app (Hangouts) to do everything and improve it, not kill it for another pointless Google project.
  • I really enjoy DUO and like most here in the comments, I convinced my immediate folks to switch to it instead of using an inferior Whatsapp for video and voice calls. Now, I'll look like a proper tool with this latest revelation. All is not lost, though, as Telegram has rolled out video calls to Android, so I know where I'll default to.
  • Get it together google. Are they run by a bunch of people with ADHD?
  • Oh man. Damnit Google.
  • No surprise. Google can't stick to anything.
  • Too bad. It was an app I actually made use of. I found it easy and straightforward to use with not fuss, no muss, useless add-ons or any other annoying features. Naturally Hooli...errr Google, had to kill it off. So do I delete Duo now, download Meet...or just wait for Duo's slow and inevitable death? I hope Gavin Belson can give us a clear answer this time around!
  • Google seriously make up your mind, every year your killing apps, I'm still salty about you killing Google Play Music. I just got my whole family on Duo, now your killing it after the 3rd video app you made, please make up your mind and stick to one for us to build on!