Google makes Meet video conferencing app free for all users: How to get notified
You can use Meet to schedule, join or start secure video meetings with anyone (Google)2 min read . Updated: 29 Apr 2020, 11:24 PM ISTEdited By Aparna Banerjea
The tech giant shared that it will gradually open Meet for all users in the coming weeks
Google Meet allows 100 people to participate in a video conference at once
Starting today, Google’s own video conferencing app is now going free for all users globally, the search engine giant announced today. Meet was initially launched as a premium app for paid users, but looking at the surging demand for video call services across the globe owing to the lockdowns imposed by several governments in order to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak, the app is gradually rolling out the free versions.
Earlier, the Meet app had required a Google business or education account to set up calls, essentially it suite software. But now, Going forward, Meet will be available to anyone for free on the web and via mobile apps for iOS or Android. And if you use Google Calendar, you’ll be able to easily start or join from there, too. Through Meet, Google lets 100 people to participate in a single video call.
While Google has long offered free versions of business tools including Gmail and Google Docs, there has been no equivalent for Meet, a newer service launched three years ago.
In a blog post, the tech giant shared that it will gradually open Meet in the coming weeks.
“Today, we’re making Google Meet, our premium video conferencing product, free for everyone, with availability rolling out over the coming weeks,” wrote Javier Soltero, Vice President & GM, G Suite.
The post also shared that the free version of the app will be rolled out to all users in early May and all the services that were earlier available for premium users, will be available for free to all.
“Starting in early May, anyone with an email address can sign up for Meet and enjoy many of the same features available to our business and education users, such as simple scheduling and screen sharing, real-time captions, and layouts that adapt to your preference, including an expanded tiled view.,”
In case you do not receive the update, you can also sign up here to get notified when your account can gain gains access.
Moreover, the free offer is permanent, according to Smita Hashim, director of product for Google Meet. “It’s going to last going forward, just like Gmail,” she said. “Video conferencing has pretty much become an essential service,” according to a Bloomberg report.
Meet calls pass through Google’s servers, enabling it to provide automatic captioning, troubleshoot issues and comply with legal orders to share users’ data. But consumers’ calls will not be stored. Businesses and schools will have exclusive access to recording meetings and other options.
However, Meet will cut free calls after an hour starting in October, compared with no time limit on Messenger and Skype and a 40-minute restriction on consumer Zoom accounts. Free Meet calls also will be limited to no more than a single host and 100 participants – the same as Zoom’s free version but above the 50 on Messenger and Skype.
(With inputs from agencies)