Google Meet video conferencing is now free for anyone with a Google account – not just G Suite customers.
Let it be said that no-one will let Zoom win. Just a few days after Facebook announced Messenger Rooms – a new video conferencing feature that doesn’t even require a Facebook account – it’s Google’s turn to strengthen its position in the free video conferencing space.
Starting immediately, Google Meet (previously known as Hangout Meet) is now free of charge to anybody with a Google account. Google insists that all users must log in using a Google account “for safety reasons.”
Meetings can host up to 100 people at a time, and are not limited in time. However, Google did say that it may restrict meeting length to 60 minutes come September 30th.
Compared to Zoom, Google meet lets host better control participants and help avoid Zoombombing. The latter made many organizations reconsider Zoom as their go-to video conferencing platform in the last two months.
Google will also introduce other security measures. For example, users who are not explicitly invited via a calendar invite will automatically be entered into a waiting room before the host approves them. Note that waiting rooms are a feature on Zoom 5.0, but not in Messenger Rooms.
Furthermore, the free version of Google Meet will also not offer the possibility to join-in via a landline dial-in number.
Finally, Google Meet will also benefit from the addition of “Gallery view,” which lets you view all participants in a single grid view.
This feature arguably made the platform so popular among users since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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