Skip to main content

To take on Zoom, Google Meet goes free for everyone

Google is making its professional video conferencing tool, Meet, free for all to take on Zoom and the growing number of other rivals from companies like Facebook. Google Meet has so far been limited to G Suite enterprise customers but soon, anybody with a Gmail account will be able to use it to talk to up to 100 participants.

Until September 30, Google says users can chat on Meet for as long as they’d like. After that, however, calls will be capped at 60 minutes unless you upgrade. You will still have access to premium features such as screen-sharing, a Zoom-like grid layout that Google rolled out a few days ago, real-time translation, and more.

Related Videos

Free Google Meet calls won’t be available immediately to everyone, though. Google says it’s “gradually expanding its availability to more and more people over the following weeks.”

The mandatory Google account is vital here since that’s how the company is looking to stand out. On Zoom, by contrast, people can join meetings simply through a link with no registration whatsoever. While that has proved convenient for many, it has also led to privacy issues such as Zoombombing.

That’s not all. Google has built in a bunch of additional safety measures. People who aren’t explicitly invited by the host won’t be able to jump into a call directly with a link. They will, instead, land in a virtual waiting room and only when the host lets them in, will they enter the conference. Since Google Meet can natively function in the browser without any add-ons, Google claims it’s less vulnerable to security threats, too.

“Our approach to security is simple: Make products safe by default. We designed Meet to operate on a secure foundation, providing the protection needed to keep our users safe, their data secure, and their information private,” wrote Javier Soltero, Vice President & GM, G Suite in a blog post.

Yesterday, Google separately announced it has been adding about 3 million new users and hosting 3 billion minutes of video meetings every day. In addition to Google Meet, Google is ramping up its other video-calling platform, Duo, which can now host up to 12 people in a single call, and now works better in low-light scenarios.

A couple of days ago, Facebook threw its own hat in the ring with the launch of Messenger Rooms. On top of that, the social media giant doubled the number of participants for WhatsApp voice and video calls.

Editors' Recommendations

Google’s new Nest Cams save video clips without the need for a subscription
The Google Nest Cam Indoor on a table.

If you've been considering the addition of an indoor, outdoor, or doorbell security camera to your home, there's great news on the horizon. A revamp of Google's Nest Cam lineup brings a host of new hardware and a suite of all-new features that we're eager to see in action. The latest hardware includes the 2021 editions of the Google Nest Cam, Google Nest Cam Indoor, Google Nest Cam with Floodlight, and the Google Nest Doorbell.

While each new device brings its own unique set of features (more on that below), one shared ability among the four is that you'll be able to store up to three hours of recorded video in Google's cloud without the need for a Nest subscription of any kind -- although paying for a monthly membership will net you an expanded set of Nest Aware exclusives.

Read more
Google’s Pixel 6 XL might come with the company’s best zoom lens
Google Pixel 6 leaked image of the phone's back.

The Google Pixel 6 could be Google's first Pixel to ship with a 5x "ultra tele" camera, a new app teardown from XDA Developers implies.

This report comes from code found in Google's camera app in the Android 12 beta, references were found to a toggle for a new zoom lens, likely set for one of Google's next Pixel phones. In said code, references were found to the “ultratele”, as well as 5x zoom more than a few times. More references noted the camera would have an actual optical zoom level -- a measure of the number of times the camera can zoom in before it resorts to digitally cropping images -- of 4.3x, a major upgrade over the Pixel 4's real optical zoom level of 1.4x.

Read more
The most common Google Meet problems and how to fix them
asus chromebook c523 amazon deals lifestyle

Google Meet has become one of the standard solutions for videoconferencing. And it's a viable option whether you’re joining a business meeting or connecting with friends and family. However, like all pieces of software, Google Meet isn’t perfect, and you may run into a few issues along the way. If you’re having problems with it, this guide is here to help you get back up and running as painlessly as possible.

See more

Read more