Google apologises for accidentally spamming Duo users worldwide with video ad from Indian cricket team

By Digit NewsDesk | Updated 31 May 2019
Google apologises for accidentally spamming Duo users worldwide with video ad from Indian cricket team
  • Google Duo accidentally pushed out a video ad to users worldwide.
  • The ad was a video from the Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli.
  • Google says it was an accident and has apologised to users for the inconvenience.

Google accidentally spammed users of its video calling app, Duo, with a message from the Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli. Many users reported receiving an unexpected video message from someone who wasn’t on their contact list. On opening the notification, they were greeted with Kohli, who thanked them for their wishes and asked them to “Keep cheering for Team India on Duo”. While some people speculated that Google Duo might be starting to show ads, the company has acknowledged and apologised for the message which was accidentally pushed out to users worldwide. 

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In a support thread, a Google employee states that the video message was sent accidentally to unintended recipients. “This was not an ad -- it was a message that users in India were intended to receive as a thank you if they chose to participate in an upcoming Duo promotion,” says the Google employee. Additionally, it is confirmed that Kohli was not added as a contact and as soon as one deletes the received video, one will no longer see it in Duo. Some users also complained about being unable to clear the notification of receiving the message. They can long press on the Duo app icon to see a menu show where swiping left or right will remove a notification.

While the message was intended for select Indian Google Duo audience, AndroidPolice notes that users in the US, Canada, Japan, Mexico, and New Zealand have reported receiving the above promotional video message. While it’s good news that Google Duo is not jumping on the ads bandwagon, this ‘accident’ of pushing a video ad did cause some worry for users. Google might not have any current plans of making ads a norm on Duo, but WhatsApp will start showing ads from next year. Olivier Ponteville, the Head of Media at Be Connect Agency who tweeted out the announcement along with a photo. 

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