Google Meet: Now free for everyone! Google has now announced that Meet, its video-conference tool, is now available free of charge for companies which compete directly with Zoom lovers.
Until now, you could take part in meetings without being a paying user, but you needed to start calls on a paid G-Suite account.
However, you won’t be able to make free meetings immediately. Google will gradually open access to free users, beginning next week. It may be a couple of weeks before everyone gets there.
Smita Hashim, Google Cloud’s Director of Product Management, told me “With COVID, video conferencing truly has become an important tool and we have seen the use of video conferencing really go up.” Since these resources are needed more and more, Google now decided to put individual users together, while Hashim noted that some of this was already on the route map of the business.
“We are accelerating what we are doing, given the crisis and given the need for video conferencing at this point,” she said. “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.”
Google on its blog stated – “Today, we’re making Google Meet, our premium video conferencing product, free for everyone, with availability rolling out over the coming weeks. We’ve invested years in making Meet a secure and reliable video conferencing solution that’s trusted by schools, governments and enterprises around the world, and in recent months we’ve accelerated the release of top-requested features to make it even more helpful. 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.”
Features of Google Meet
- We provide a strong set of host controls such as the ability to admit or deny entry to a meeting, and mute or remove participants if needed.
- We do not allow anonymous users (i.e., without a Google Account) to join meetings created by individual accounts.
- Meet meeting codes are complex by default and therefore resilient to brute-force “guessing.”
- Meet video meetings are encrypted in transit, and all recordings stored in Google Drive are encrypted in transit and at rest.
- We don’t require plugins to use Meet on the web. It works entirely in Chrome and other modern browsers, so it’s less vulnerable to security threats.
- On mobile, we have dedicated Google Meet apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
- Meet users can enrol their account in Google’s Advanced Protection Program—our strongest protections available against phishing and account hijacking.
- Google Cloud undergoes regular rigorous security and privacy audits for all its services. Our global compliance certifications can help support regulatory requirements such as GDPR and HIPAA, as well as COPPA and FERPA for education.
- Your Meet data is not used for advertising, and we don’t sell your data to third parties.
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