Google Meet takes on Zoom and Skype, will be free for everyone starting May
Google has announced that its premium video conferencing platform, Google Meet, will be free for all users. The platform will be available from early May onwards and anyone with an email address will be able to use features like real-time captions, and layouts that have been available to business and education users.
The company notes that Google Meet will start becoming available to users from next week onwards and availability will expand to everyone over the following weeks, Users can sign up to be notified when it becomes available to them.
Before this, Google Meet was exclusively a part of G Suite, which is its productivity solution for businesses, organisations and schools. However, once it becomes available to everyone, users will be able to partake by heading over to meet.google.com or the mobile apps for iOS and Android. The company also notes that Meetings were limited to 60 minutes for the free product, but it will not enforce this time limit until after September 30,
The move to make Google Meet free for all users comes at a very opportune time as most people around the world are turning to video conferencing apps to stay connected amid the lockdown. Javier Soltero, Vice President & GM, G Suite notes in the company’s official blog, “Technology that connects us while we're apart helps keep us safe and productive. Over the past few months, we’ve seen the power of video meetings bring us together—whether we’re working with teammates, talking to healthcare professionals, sharing with loved ones, or learning from home.”
Google renamed Hangouts Meet to Meet earlier this month. In fact, the company plans to get rid of the Hangouts name in general as Google plans to discontinue the Hangouts app from June onwards. The company also recently updated the app to support a new layout that is more akin to its competitor, Zoom.