Google makes Meet video conferencing platform free for all

Google makes Meet video conferencing platform free for all
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Taking on popular rival video conferencing platform Zoom, Google will make its video conferencing platform Meet free for anyone with a Google account in the coming weeks.

However, the company is mulling a 60-minute cap on each meeting after September 30, according to a blog post by Javier Soltero, vice president and general manager of G Suite. 

Earlier, Meet was accessible only by enterprises and educational institutions with a G Suite subscription. While individuals without a G Suite account could participate in a Meet call, they could not start meetings.

Additionally, another G Suite tier, called G Suite Essentials, will be launched for teams who need access to the platform’s advanced features, Soltero said. This offering too, can be accessed for free till September 30, he added.

It may be noted that the growth of Google Meet could help holding company Alphabet continue to increase its revenue in the cloud domain. The company’s cloud-based revenues, including Google Cloud Platform and G Suite, went up 52% to $2.78 billion in Q1 2020 from $1.83 billion a year ago.

Watch: Zoom versus Google Meet

The platform, which is a direct competitor of Zoom, saw 100 million daily users over the past week, Soltero said. As of April 22, Zoom, despite its security issues, touched 300 million daily users, it said in a blog post. 

Both video conferencing platforms have rolled out multiple offerings in the recent past to attract more users. 

On April 22, Meet announced updated features such as low light mode and the ability to see 16 users on screen from its previous four. Additionally, it integrated Gmail with Google Meet to make it easier for Gmail users to directly join Meet webinars.   

On the other hand, the latest Zoom 5.0 update addressed issues such as encryption and Zoombombing. The company also onboarded Oracle as its new cloud infrastructure partner to support its burgeoning user base.