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Google’s video chat merger begins: Now there are two “Google Meet” apps

Someday, Google's messaging lineup will look like this (assuming Google can stop launching competing products).

Enlarge / Someday, Google’s messaging lineup will look like this (assuming Google can stop launching competing products). (credit: Ron Amadeo)

Google is officially kicking off the merger of its two video chat apps, Google Meet and Google Duo. Google announced the merger in June, with the plan to keep the Google Meet brand name while merging the best of both code bases into the Google Duo app. According to Google’s PR email (no links, sorry), people will begin seeing Duo’s app and website branding swap over to Google Meet this week. Google’s various rebrandings are all on a rollout, so they’ll arrive at different times for different people, but Google says the complete rebrand should finish for everyone by September.

So Google Duo is being rebranded to Google Meet, and the existing Google Meet app is sticking around for a bit. That means there are now two apps called “Google Meet.” Google has a help article detailing this extremely confusing situation, calling the two Meet apps “Google Meet (original): The updated Meet app” and “Google Meet: The updated Duo app.” The “Google Meet (original)” app will someday be put out to pasture; it’s just sticking around while Google rebuilds the meeting functionality on top of Google Duo. Did everyone follow that?

The Meet and Duo video services were both built as reactions to Google’s far more stable communication competition. Google Meet was technically created in 2017 as a group business video chat application called “Google Hangouts Meet,” but it really became a major project after Zoom’s growth exploded in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Google Meet was still locked behind a paywall during the initial months of the work-from-home era, and while it eventually became as easy to use as Zoom, it was after Zoom became a household name.

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