Despite facing fierce competition, Duo managed to make a name for itself and even passed more than one billion downloads on the Play Store. A nice touch that makes the app fun to use is the special video effects it features during holidays such as Valentine's Day or Holi. Continuing with the tradition, Google wanted to celebrate the launch of the twelfth Cricket World Cup with a special message to supporters of the Indian national team. However, there seems to have been a targeting glitch, as people in many other countries are receiving it, despite having absolutely no ties to the country.
Users in the US, but also Canada, Japan, Mexico, and New Zealand have reported receiving the above promotional video message showing Virat Kohli, the captain of Indian Cricket team, toasting a cup of coffee and thanking them for their wishes. Interestingly, the message doesn't seem to have been sent to users in India, which could point to a geo-targeting error from Google. Also, people have only mentioned seeing this video on Android devices, and a user with both an iPad and Android phone has only gotten it on his handset.
It's unclear what caused the glitch, but please let us know if you've seen received such a message and where you're based. In any case, this only looks like a bug and not a major data leak issue, so you should be able to continue using Duo safely, as long as you don't mind occasionally watching a celebrity sipping a cuppa on your phone.
- Damodara K,
- Samarth Verma
Google has contacted us directly to point out the message was indeed meant to be sent to specific people only. It was supposed to be received by people who had signed up for a promotion, but ended up being sent to what seems to be a much wider audience.
This evening a video message was accidentally sent by Google to some Duo users. 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. We are sorry for any confusion this may have caused.
The above statement has been posted on Google's official support forums to acknowledge the glitch and reassure people with regard to receiving unintended messages.
We're sorry for this glitch and the confusion it created - we recognize this seemed like spam, and are taking steps so it doesn't happen again.
— Justin Uberti (@juberti) May 30, 2019