Google has announced that its Meet videoconferencing service will be free to use for anyone with a Google account from next month.
Following a gradual rollout through May, Meet will no longer be exclusive to paying G-Suite members, and will remain open to Google account holders until September 30, 2020.
Google Meet offers many of the features that have made Zoom so popular in recent weeks, including video conferencing for up to 100 participants, the option to schedule meetings, and screen-sharing capabilities.
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.
Google Meet usually imposes a 60-minute time limit on meetings for non-paying users, but the company is lifting the limit for the period of its availability to all Google account holders. Given Zoom’s recent troubles, Google is also keen to underscore the privacy and security of the platform – Meet video meetings are encrypted in transit, and all recordings stored in Google Drive are encrypted in transit and at rest.
Anyone interested in using Google Meet can download the Hangouts Meet iOS app from the App Store or head to meet.google.com to use the web browser version. As the rollout is gradual, users can sign up to be notified when it’s available.