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.