With the growing demand for video conference services amid COVID-19 lockdown, on Wednesday (April 29), Google made its video conferencing platform—Meet, free for everyone across the globe. It was earlier launched as a premium app for paid users.
The tech giant said Meet’s popularity has grown since January with roughly 30 lakh users everyday. Google also revealed that last week Meet’s daily meeting participants surpassed 100 million.
Google, in a blog post, said it will gradually open Meet in the coming weeks. “Today, we’re making Google Meet, our premium video conferencing product, free for everyone, with availability rolling out over the coming weeks,” wrote Javier Soltero, Vice President & GM, G Suite.
Talking about security, the blog post further said their approach to security was simple: make products safe by default. “We designed Meet to operate on a secure foundation, providing the protections needed to keep our users safe, their data secure, and their information private.”
Google’s move comes amid rising safety concerns with Zoom, a video conferencing app. Union Home Ministry on April 16, issued an advisory saying videoconferencing app Zoom “is a not a safe platform”. The advisory comes after the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) cautioned about cyber vulnerability in using the app.
The Cyber Coordination Centre of the MHA issued a set of guidelines for its safe usage by private individuals. It was not for use by government offices and officials, the MHA noted.
How to use the ‘free’ version?
One can start a video conference by signing in at meet.google.com with personal email IDs. However, people without Google account can easily create one for free. The free calls on Google Meet will be limited to 60 minutes. The tech giant, however, said “time limit” will not be enforced until after September 30.
(With inputs from agencies)