It’s official. Google is upping its game by google meet and joining the big league of competitors like Zoom, Microsoft Team, etc. This is in light of Google finally announcing its plan to make Google Meet free for everybody.
Meet, the search engine giant’s very own video conferencing service, was previously only available as a premium product. It seems that Google changed their mind after looking at the surge in demand for video communication tools.
The safe and secure service has been at its peak this year, to say the least. This month alone, Meet hosted 3 billion minutes of video meetings. To add on, they also receive around 3 million new users on a daily basis.
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Starting this month, the tech giant will be rolling out the free versions over the coming weeks. To make it simple and easy, the service is only requiring users to have a Google account.
It will be available on the web at meet.google.com or on the app store for both iOS and Android.
Users can sign up for Meet and enjoy the many features available for businesses and educators alike. Their blog post describes some of the features as, “simple scheduling and screen sharing, real-time captions, and layouts that adapt to your preference, including an expanded tiled view.”
In order to ensure a safe and secure experience, Google will be expanding the availability gradually over the next few weeks. Interested users can sign up to be notified when the free version will be available.
Google’s competitor in this arena, Zoom, went through some data safety and security issues earlier. Concerns like “Zoombombing” where uninvited people enter Zoom meetings posed a threat to the company’s reputation.
The search engine has shown that they do not want to follow their footsteps as it seems their motto during this time is to make their services “safe by default”.
How is Google Meet Safe?
Well, to reassure skeptical customers that their data and information will remain safe and private, Google shared several measures that they’re taking with this new launch.
Some of them include requiring a complex meeting code, requiring a google account so ‘anonymous’ users cannot enter, providing a strong set of host controls, and more.
This free version is not a temporary respite during the COVID-19 lockdown, it’s said to be a permanent feature going forward. Users will be able to create meetings containing up to 100 participants for any amount of time.
However, it seems that post-September 30th, the app will place a limit of 60 minutes for the duration. In comparison, Zoom has a 40-minute time limit whereas Messenger and Skype have no time limit.
Other than consumers, Google has also created solutions for a variety of stakeholders: groups and teams, businesses and organizations, & schools and educational institutes.
They will be providing ‘G Suite Essentials’ for “teams that need access to Meet’s more advanced features, such as dial-in phone numbers, larger meetings, and meeting recording.
G Suite Essentials also includes Google Drive for easy and secure access to all of a team’s content and Docs, Sheets, and Slides for content creation and real-time collaboration.”
As a trusted and reputable company, Google Meet just might give Zoom and other players in the industry a run for their money.