Google Meet doesn’t want to be outdistanced by Zoom or Microsoft anymore. After the deployment of new functions, but also new integrations, Google announced that Meet is free for everyone, including the general public.
Google is shifting into a new gear: the Google Meet video conferencing service is now open to everyone, instead of simply offering it to businesses and educational institutions via G Suite.
If you have a Google Account, you’ll now be able to create free meetings for up to 100 people (250 attendees for business) of any length (Zoom is limited to less than an hour) – although Google explains that after September 30, meetings will likely be limited to 60 minutes.
How do I use Google Meet?
To use Google Meet, all you need is a Google Account, and sign in to meet.google.com. You can also use the iPhone, iPad, and Android applications, which you can download below.
At the time of writing, Google Meet is not yet available to non-business Google Accounts. You can then join a meeting or create a new conference. You will be able to invite other participants via a link or give them a number to call if they do not have access to the internet.
You can access a “mosaic” view that allows you to see 16 people at a time. Of course, you can share your screen to make a presentation, for example. Finally, Google also offers a real-time subtitle function.
Google is working hard to catch up.
Google is working hard to catch up with other solutions such as Zoom. New features and integrations are being deployed at full speed. In the midst of a confined environment, Google does not want to miss the opportunity to get millions of teleworkers to adopt its solution.
All these welcome changes also demonstrate a real cacophony in Google’s strategy: Google’s meeting app has recently become “Google Meet”, the service was called before Hangouts Meet, an old legacy.
Just like Hangouts Chat, this competitor to Google Slack and Microsoft Teams, which was also recently renamed Google Chat.
For businesses, Google is also announcing a new G Suite offering called G Suite Essentials, which includes Meet and Google Drive, but not Gmail.
As for Zoom, Google says that it is not completely abandoned either: 3 million new users are registered every day, 30 times more since January. With the integration with Gmail, Google also expects to attract some of its 2 billion email users. The company is also focusing on security. As some of you may know, the success of Zoom has been accompanied by an endless list of privacy and security controversies.