Google has announced that its premium video-conferencing service — Google Meet — which was only accessible for those that use its G-Suite enterprise for businesses and educational purposes will now be free for users with a Google account in the coming weeks.

A report has it that anybody with a Google account will now be able to create free meetings of up to 100 people for a long period of time and also enjoy the same features available to G-Suite enterprise for business and education. However, the free version will not offer landline dial-in numbers for meetings and after September 30, meetings length may be restricted to 60 minutes.

Google will reportedly be extending the app to reach as many users as possible. Although, right now users might not be able to create a meeting at meet.google.com: they can sign up so as to be notified when it’s available.

Following the coronavirus outbreak and the stay-at-home directives by many countries governments, video-conferencing services have come extremely useful. And web-conferencing platforms like Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams amongst others have come to save the day.

In recent times, there have been reports of meetings being hijacked on Zoom: videos, pornography, or other disruptive content are being displayed while the meeting is ongoing. To avoid ‘Zoombombing’, Google said it will introduce other safety measures that will allow people not added to the meeting via a calendar invite to be automatically moved into a ‘green room’ when they try to join the meeting. Participants will only be allowed to join the meeting when it’s been approved by the host.

In the last few weeks, Zoom has recorded a notable growth and this can be credited to conferences, webinars, seminars, meetings and others going virtual. Seeing that Zoom is raking a lot of profit during this pandemic, Google Meet and Microsoft have taken a cue from the video-conferencing service provider to make their platform more accessible and also improve services.

About two weeks ago, Microsoft announced that it will be extending the number of participants that can be viewed in a gallery view on Microsoft Teams to nine simultaneously while Google Meet currently supports 16.

Google Meet which reportedly has about 6 million users in its G-Suite platform only became ‘Google Meet’ earlier this month and it is not the only the company that is making its platform more convenient and interesting.

Recently, Facebook revealed plans to enable musicians, small business owners and other creators to monetise their content by making viewers purchase access to view their performances, workshops and other events on the app.

Considering that most people and organisations are turning to Skype, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, etc for virtual meetings, conferences, wedding and birthday parties as a result of the pandemic: it may appear that the competition between video-conferencing services will begin when all of this comes to an end.


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