Google Duo – Google’s “Facetime” alternative for Android and Chrome OS users – just passed an incredible milestone on the Google Play Store. Now sitting at 5 billion user installs, it’s likely something that needs no introduction. In fact, over the past year or two, I’ve seen many of my friends, family, and colleagues joining up without my prompting, showing just how far-reaching its influence has become.
This could have something to do with the fact that it’s preinstalled on Android devices, and while many people get frustrated that it continues to operate and update against their wishes, it truly is a seamless and handy tool to have available, especially during the global pandemic when video chats have all but taken over other communication styles.
Add to that the fact that it integrates with the Phone app and you can create a video call with your loved ones with just a simple tap, and it’s clear to see why it’s become more popular than its ill-fated Allo counterpart (rest in peace). For those who are unaware, Allo was Google’s answer to iMessage way before they realized they probably couldn’t overcome this problem without diving into RCS in November of 2020.
Sadly, Google Duo’s merger with Google Meet was unsuccessful last year, and while this 5 billion install milestone is impressive, it’s clear that the company has plans to absorb it into something else, further upsetting its users with yet another messaging switcharoo.
If you use Duo for personal use, I’d love to hear in the comments how often! If you have yet to join the club, you can install it below for your Android phone or even your Chromebook. You can also access Duo on the web via its dedicated web app.