Google Makes Meet, Its Video Conferencing Tool, Free
Everyone is pivoting to meet the demands of the new normal, from face masks to curbside food pickups. The implementation of social and physical distancing has everyone quickly launching beta versions of online shopping websites and delivery apps.
In a new world now gearing up for remote work, Google is re-launching Meet, the business version of Google Hangouts, offering it for free complete with perks until September.
"We re-engineered the service we built for secure business meetings, Google Meet, to make it free and available for all. In order to give people the security and reliability they count on from Google, we will be rolling out access over the coming weeks," according to a Google statement.
Meet was first launched in 2017 as part of the G Suite service. Some of its features included its ability to fit 30 to 250 participants in a 60-minute con-call, as well as screen-sharing and real-time captioning. For its latest iteration, Meet will be able to allow 100 people in an hourlong chat. Other features like meeting recording, dial-in calling, and a larger conference size will be limited to its premium users.
As with everything Google, the catch is the need for a Gmail account, an extra step but one that Google assures gives an extra line of security for users.
Meet seems to be directly addressing the problems encountered by leading video-conferencing app Zoom. Meet allows moderators the prerogative of accepting and rejecting members for the call. It also prohibits anonymous calls. The extra 20 minutes is also a big step up from Zoom's 40-minute limitation. Facebook, which recently announced Messenger Rooms, and Skype have a cut-off of 50 people—though both allow up to hours of conferencing.
Sign up for Meet here.