Google Meet, Google’s video conferencing app previously called Google Hangout Meet is now free for all users. The search engine giant announced this on 29 April. The app was launched as a premium app for paid users, but looking at the market demand for video conferencing services across the globe, the company decided to make it free for all.
To recall you, last month the premium version of Meet was made free to existing G Suite users. Google is unveiling a new tier for G Suite, “G Suite Essentials” this includes Meet and Google Drive but not Gmail. And all current G Suite customers still have access to Meet through September 30.
In a blog post, Javier Soltero, Vice President & GM, G Suite said,
Today, we’re making Google Meet, our premium video conferencing product, free for everyone, with availability rolling out over the coming weeks.
The company has mentioned, the free version will be available in the coming weeks. Further, starting from May anyone with an email address can sign up for the meet and enjoy the free version. Google will also add other safety measures to make it more secure than ever.
In the security update, people not explicitly added to a meeting via a calendar invite will be automatically entered into a green room. When they try to join a meeting, the host can only approve the request.
Also, do note, Google said, from the next week they will be gradually expanding its availability to more people. This means users might not be able to create meetings at meet.google.com currently. However, you can sign up here to be notified when it’s available.
Free but, With Limits!
Despite being free for all the Meet may cut free calls after an hour starting in September, compared with no time limit on other apps such as Messenger and Skype. Also, the free version will also not offer landline dial-in numbers for meetings.
Google is ready to take on video calling apps such as Zoom and Houseparty. However, Facebook is also in the game with its new Messenger rooms feature. A new tool from the company that would allow anyone to video call with up to 50 people soon. The new tool will be layered on Messenger, Facebook’s Chat app.