Google Duo copies Zoom and adds invite links for adding people to group calls

The world as a whole is making more video calls than ever before, and that’s pushing just about every video calling service to up its game. Exactly a month ago, Google announced a slew of new features for Google Duo, including invite links, bigger group calls, and more. Now, invite links are rolling out to users.

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In what appears to be a server-side rollout, Google Duo now works with super-easy invite links. The link will quickly open the Duo app and drop that user directly into the call. Android Police first spotted the rollout and, from what we can tell, it should be live for everyone, even if they’re on a slightly older version of the app.

How do you get the link? Google Duo locks this functionality only to group calls — not that that’s entirely surprising — which means you’ll need to tap “Create Group” in the Android or iOS apps. This isn’t possible from the web, unfortunately. On a Chromebook, the link will launch the Duo Android app if it’s available.

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Once a group call has been created, you’ll see a Google Duo invite link at the bottom of the screen before starting the call, and after a call is started the “Share Link” button will appear under a three-dot menu. If you’re the one joining a group call, you’ll see a list of who’s already joined before you actually tap the “Join Group” button.

The ability to join a video call via link was popularized recently by Zoom, but it’s great to see it arrive on Duo. One can only hope that group calls expand to the web soon, making Google Duo’s invite links even more useful.

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