Google has announced that it is making its premium video conferencing product, Google Meet, available for free to everyone.
Video conferencing platforms have experienced record growth amid the coronavirus pandemic, as organizations, schools and individuals have turned to them to stay connected and productive. Zoom went from 10 million to 200 million daily users, and 300 million daily meeting participants. Other platforms have also seen stellar growth, although it appears Google would like to experience even more, if its latest blog post is any indication.
“Today, we’re making Google Meet, our premium video conferencing product, free for everyone, with availability rolling out over the coming weeks,” writes Javier Soltero Vice President & GM, G Suite. “We’ve invested years in making Meet a secure and reliable video conferencing solution that’s trusted by schools, governments and enterprises around the world, and in recent months we’ve accelerated the release of top-requested features to make it even more helpful. 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.”
This is a big move for Google, and will likely help it better compete with Zoom and Microsoft’s products, including Skype and Teams. It will be interesting to see if Meet remains free permanently, or just while the pandemic is in full swing.