Google just made a big announcement that it’s making its premium video conferencing service, Google Meet – free for everyone.
The tech giant wants to take a big bite of the video conferencing market that Zoom is enjoying right now. We all know that working remotely will not go out of fashion any time soon with what we are undergoing right now due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Google Meet initially was meant to take on Microsoft Teams on the enterprise segment of the video conferencing market. But then, strategies change. Google has decided to take on Zoom and the security vulnerabilities that the video calling service experienced lately.
Prior to this announcement, Google Meet was only available to G Suite users, Google’s collaboration and productivity subscription-based service for businesses, organizations, and schools. Currently, individual users can join Meet calls without paying but you need to be a G Suite subscriber to start calls.
With Google Meet, users can get screen sharing, real-time captions, and tiled layout much like what Zoom is offering right now.
How to Start Video Conferencing using Google Meet
Users can start or join a Google Meet video call through the web by going to meet.google.com.
You can also use dedicated Google Meet apps for iOS and Android to take calls on mobile.
People can also join Google Meet calls using the Google Calendar app or website.
A slight caveat though, users will need to have a Google account to participate in meetings. It’s not likely to be a problem for most people, but it’s a bit of an extra step comparing it to simply clicking on a Zoom link to join meetings.
What are the Free User Limits on Google Meet
- Users can enjoy up to 60 minutes of free video meetings, a quite generous offer when compared to Zoom’s 40-minute limit for free accounts.
- Google Meet allows 100 participants for each meeting, a number similar to what Zoom currently offers.
It’s important to note though that Google will not impose the 60-minute limit now until September 30. However, you still have the 100-participant limit even before September.
When will the Free Access to Google Meet Start
Google is rolling out the free access to Google Meet gradually in order to ensure the stability of the service. The initial rollout will start next week. So, we can expect that it would take some weeks before everybody finally gets a chance to access Google Meet’s services for free.
To make sure that you get notified when Google rolls out the free Google Meet service, sign up for their waitlist here.
Wrapping It Up
This is a welcome development especially during this home quarantine and social distancing season. Microsoft also announced recently a consumer edition for Microsoft Teams. With the big companies stepping up their games, users like you and me are surely gonna win.