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Audio calls now available on Google Duo
April 5, 2017, 5:13 pm

Google’s Duo messaging app, which recently launched voice calls in Brazil, is now rolling out this feature to users across the rest of the world. The initial launch came as part of a series of product launches specific to Brazil, and Google, at the time, teased that an international expansion was just days away. Now Duo users outside of Brazil have the option of audio calls.

On a related expansion note, Google has also partnered with Truecaller to integrate Duo calling into the company’s smart calling app. That partnership is effective in India, where Truecaller claims to have 150 million registered users.

Google launched Duo last year as an emerging market-friendly take on services like Apple’s FaceTime-iMessage and WhatsApp, which has gotten audio and video calling in recent years. Google said last week that audio calls were a much requested feature, and the additional is entirely logical if Google wants to be the center of its users’ communication needs.

The company currently also offers other voice call apps such as Hangouts, which it recently split up into separate apps Chat and Meet; Google Voice, which just got a rare update, and Messenger, a service focused on Rich Communications Services (RCS).

Yet none of those properties comes close to the global popularity of rivals WhatsApp or Messenger, both of which are owned by Facebook and claim more than a billion monthly active users each.

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