Google has just announced, via its official Twitter handle, that a rather important change is coming to Google Duo, video messages. Truth be said, this is not an introduction of video messages to the application, as the company has allowed users to leave short video messages if someone didn’t pick up a call, that rolled out earlier this year, but this new change will actually allow you to send video messages straight-up. Now, in addition to this announcement on Twitter, Google attached a short GIF which basically shows you how will this feature work. Once you open Duo, you’ll need to swipe down, record your message, and then simply select who do you want to send that video message to… and that’s it. This feature has been long overdue, as Duo is a video calling application, but it’s finally here. Google said that the feature is “rolling out this week”, which probably means that the rollout has already started, and if you didn’t get it yet, you will soon.
Background: Google Duo was announced by the company back in May 2016, during Google’s keynote at Google I/O. This app was announced along with Google Allo, one is a video chatting app, while the other is a messaging application. As most of you probably already know, Google announced that the Allo application will be going away next year, but Duo is going nowhere, at least for the time being, as Google seems to be ready to focus on (Android) Message and Duo applications going forward. Messages will be the company’s chatting app, it seems, while Duo will be video calling app. On the other hand, Hangouts will cease to exist in its current form as well, “classic” Hangouts will be replaced by Hangouts Chat and Meet apps, both of which are currently enterprise app, but will become consumer apps as well, it seems. Google Duo has over 500 million downloads in the Google Play Store at the moment, and it actually has really positive reviews thus far.
Impact: Hangouts is an app that has video calling built in, but for some reason, Google opted to announce Duo two years ago. The app managed to become quite successful since its launch, it seems, at least based on the number of downloads and its review are concerned, so Google will keep it around. Many people will probably find these video messages useful, as it’s a really quick and simple way to leave a message to someone without the need to type anything. Google was not really clear whether an update is needed for this feature to become available, or is it a server-side change, but considering the nature of this feature, a regular update via the Google Play Store is quite probably necessary in order for you to access video messages within Duo. That being said, the Play Store link for Google Duo is included down below, so feel free to hit it and see if an update is available for your app, or will have you have to wait a bit longer for that to happen. In any case, all users should have access to this feature in a matter of days.
— Google (@Google) December 5, 2018