Google has announced, recently, that Meet, a video meeting tool that is directly competing with the likes of Zoom and other video conferencing tools, will now be free for everyone.
However, before you could only use Meet for free, you need to pay the G Suite account to even start thinking of taking your calls.
Don’t get too excited just yet
Hold up the phone, don’t get all riled up just yet since Google Meet won’t be free just right off the bat. The tech giant will start opening up access to users gradually.
The worst-case scenario will be that you might have to wait a few more weeks until it would be your turn to get that sweet free version.
After September, free accounts will be limited to meetings that do not last longer than an hour or 60 minutes. So, for now, you can chat for as long as your heart desires.
There is only one real limit: meetings can’t cater to more than 100 participants. You can still get screen sharing, real-time captions, and the all-new tiled layout, which the company introduced a few days ago.
What you need to do
In order to use Google Meet, you only need to have a Google account, which won’t be a problem for most users. Granted it’ll be a bit more of a hassle than clicking a Zoom link, but still Meet isn’t an app you can scoff at.
Google has said that in return for that slight hassle, you will get a safer platform. So, expect to not have any repeat of ‘Zoom-bombings, which is great.
Also, Meet runs in a browser that is less vulnerable to security threats.
Smita Hashim, the Director of Product Management at Google Cloud, said to TechCrunch:
“We are accelerating what we are doing, given the crisis and given the need for video conferencing at this point…We still have the Google Hangouts product but Google Meet availability we are accelerating. This is a newer product designed to scale to many more participants and that has features like closed captioning and those kinds of things.”
So, for the time being, Hangouts and Google Duo are still going to be there, regardless of it being on life support for such a long time now.
Google clearly saw the potential Zoom has created in the market and would want a piece of the pie given how popular online meetings are today due to the pandemic.
Images courtesy of App Of The Day/YouTube Screenshot