Business

Zoom's competitor, Google Meet will be available for free

Meet will be available for free to everyone, but the access will be released gradually starting the next week

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  • Until now, users had to own a paid G Suite account to start calls on Google Meet;
  • As of last week, Meet’s daily meeting participants surpassed 100 million, Google stated in a company blogpost.

Google announced this Wednesday, 29, that is making its Zoom-like videoconference service – Meet – available for free to everyone. The access will be released gradually over the next weeks to free users, starting the next one, as the company informed.

Before, although users didn’t have to pay to take part in a Meet call; to start one, they had to own a paid G Suite account, Google’s collaboration and productivity solution for businesses.

“Since January, we’ve seen Meet’s peak daily usage grow by 30x. As of this month, Meet is hosting 3 billion minutes of video meetings and adding roughly 3 million new users every day. And as of last week, Meet’s daily meeting participants surpassed 100 million,” Google stated in the memo. “With this growth comes great responsibility. Privacy and security are paramount, no matter if it’s a doctor sharing confidential health information with a patient, a financial advisor hosting a client meeting, or people virtually connecting with each other for graduations, holidays and happy hours.”

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Conferences with no time limit including all features like screen sharing, real-time captions, and the new tiled layout similar to Zoom remain valid until September, when free accounts will be limited to meetings that don’t run longer than sixty minutes. Video calls in Meet, however, can’t have more than 100 participants.

Focusing on enterprise accounts, Google has also announced free access to advanced Meet features for all G Suite customers until September, such as the ability to live stream to up to 100,000 viewers within their domains, free additional Meet licenses without the need for an amended contract, and free G Suite Essentials for enterprise users.

Remote work tools have been watching a surge in demand during the pandemic, as many more people are working from home. With eyes set on this new behavior, players in the likes of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google are speeding up, enhancing solutions to increase competitiveness.