Google Duo group video calls coming to Chrome in weeks

Google said it's also adding a Family Mode to its video-calling app and will let you add masks and other effects during chats.

Clifford Colby Managing Editor
Clifford is a managing editor at CNET, where he leads How-To coverage. He spent a handful of years at Peachpit Press, editing books on everything from the first iPhone to Python. He also worked at a handful of now-dead computer magazines, including MacWEEK and MacUser. Unrelated, he roots for the Oakland A's.
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Clifford Colby

Google's Duo video chat gains effects and masks.


Google  on Friday said it's working on an update to its Duo video calling service that will let you make group video calls over the web. The search giant said Duo group video chats for the web would come as a preview in its Chrome browser in the coming weeks.

Google also added a "Family Mode" feature to Duo for Android and iOS that lets you doodle on calls and add effects and masks like cats and astronauts to keep calls entertaining. The Duo app already lets you make group and one-to-one calls. Currently, the web version of Duo handles just one-to-one voice and video calls.

Video chatting has become an increasingly popular way for friends and family to stay in touch during the coronavirus pandemic, and Google is retooling some of its chat apps so more people can use them. The company just made its Meet business and education video chat service available for free to everyone. Facebook, Skype, Microsoft and of course Zoom have free group video chat services.

Watch this: Weekend Zoom calls have exploded. Here's how the company is handling it