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Google’s Meet Video Conferencing Service to be Free to All Beginning in May

Google’s Meet Video Conferencing Service to be Free to All Beginning in May

Google has announced that its Meet video conferencing service will be free to use for any Google account holder beginning next month.

Currently, the service is for paying G-Suite members only. It will gradually roll out to all Google account holders through May, and will remain free to all through September 30, 2020.

Google Meet offers many of the features that Zoom users enjoy, including video conferencing for up to 100 participants, meeting scheduling, and screen sharing.

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. 

Normally, Google limits non-paying users to a 60-minute time limit on non-paying users, but the company will be removing that limit through the end of September. Google also underscored the privacy and security offered by its platform, likely in response to Zoom’s recent problems.

Here are just a few of our default-on safety measures:

  • We provide a strong set of host controls such as the ability to admit or deny entry to a meeting, and mute or remove participants, if needed. 
  • We do not allow anonymous users (i.e., without a Google Account) to join meetings created by individual accounts. 
  • Meet meeting codes are complex by default and therefore resilient to brute-force “guessing.”
  • Meet video meetings are encrypted in transit, and all recordings stored in Google Drive are encrypted in transit and at rest.
  • We don’t require plugins to use Meet on the web. It works entirely in Chrome and other modern browsers, so it’s less vulnerable to security threats.
  • On mobile, we have dedicated Google Meet apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store
  • Meet users can enroll their account in Google’s Advanced Protection Program—our strongest protections available against phishing and account hijacking.
  • Google Cloud undergoes regular rigorous security and privacy audits for all its services. Our global compliance certifications can help support regulatory requirements such as GDPR and HIPAA, as well as COPPA and FERPA for education. 
  • Your Meet data is not used for advertising, and we don’t sell your data to third parties.

Users can download the Hangouts Meet iOS app from the App Store or go to meet.google.com to use the service in their web browser. Users can sign up to be notified when it’s available.