Video-calling and conference apps have seen strong growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people stay in touch with loved ones and hold virtual meetings with colleagues. Zoom has enjoyed explosive growth, but now Google is fighting back by making its Google Meet platform free for all.
The search giant announced the news in a blog post, confirming that it’ll be free for everyone within the next few weeks. Previously, Meet was restricted to Google’s G Suite productivity solution for enterprises and schools.
“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 explained on its blog.
Google notes that meetings are limited to 60 minutes when using the free Meet tier, although it adds that this limit is waived until September 30. Speaking of September 30, Google is also giving G Suite customers access to Meet’s advanced features, such as live-streaming to 100,000 viewers within a domain, until then.
The search giant has also touted some interesting usage statistics for Meet, saying it’s adding three million users each day. Google says it’s seen peak daily usage grow 30x since January, as well as 100 million daily meeting participants.