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Google’s Meet is now free to compete with Zoom

Meet was previously paid only, but now Google is opening the video conferencing software to the public

The Google logo is seen at the Google headquarters in Brussels, Tuesday March 23, 2010.
The Google logo is seen at the Google headquarters in Brussels, Tuesday March 23, 2010.
Virginia Mayo, Associated Press

The coronavirus pandemic has brought on what CNN is calling a “work-from-home revolution” as many people are no longer able to gather at the office to due stay-at-home and lockdown orders.

It’s brought on a renaissance of sorts for video conferencing software, with Markets Insider reporting Zoom gained 100 million new users in just 3 weeks, and the Deseret News reporting Facebook is launching its own software to join in the competition.

Now, Reuters reports Google is trying to get a slice of the pie, and is releasing Meet, its video conferencing service, to the public — completely free.

Google Meet previously was only available to large businesses and schools who paid for a G Suite membership, CNET reports, but will now be free to anyone with a Google account.

Google Meet will allow up to 100 people on a call for any length of time until October — unlike Zoom which has a 40-minute cap for meetings of three or more people on free accounts — and will also (hopefully) be more secure than Zoom, as it requires attendees to have Google accounts and will not let someone join a meeting until approved by a host, the Verge reports.

The free software will be made available to users starting in May, The Next Web reports, but Engadget reports there are still advantages to a paid subscription for business, as G Suite tier calls can include up to 250 call participants, and can be livestreamed for up to 100,000 viewers, or recorded and saved.