Google is increasing the maximum number of people who can participate in a Duo call from eight to twelve, the company’s senior director of product management announced on Twitter. “We recognize group calling is particularly critical right now,” Sanaz Ahari Lemelson wrote. “We have increased group calling from 8 participants to 12 effective today.” The announcement did not mention whether the increase was permanent.
Duo has supported eight-person video calls since May of last year when Google doubled the maximum amount of participants from four to eight. The new 12-person limit compares to eight for Houseparty, 32 for Apple’s FaceTime, 50 for Skype and Messenger, and 100 for Zoom’s free tier.
We are grateful that Duo is helping users see their loved ones all around the world. We recognize group calling is particularly critical right now. We have increased group calling from 8 participants to 12 effective today. More to come. #AllInThisTogether #COVID19— Sanaz (@sanazahari) March 27, 2020
If you need to chat with a larger number of people and you definitely need to use a Google service to do so, then you’ll need to use Google’s enterprise-focused Hangouts Meet service. Although it’s exclusive to G Suite business users, Google also recently increased the maximum number of participants to 250 for G Suite and G Suite for Education subscribers. Previously, Google charged $13 extra per user for this increased limit as part of its “enterprise” tier.