be-nz logo
Story image

Google offers video conferencing platform Meet free to all users

Google Cloud is making its video conferencing platform Google Meet available for free for everyone, with availability rolling out over the coming weeks. 

"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," says Javier Soltero, vice president and general manager, G Suite.

"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," he says. 

"It’s important that everyone who uses Meet has a secure and reliable experience from the start, so beginning next week, we’ll be gradually expanding its availability to more and more people over the following weeks," Soltero adds.

Google Meet was only available as part of G Suite, Google's collaboration and productivity solution for businesses, organisations and schools. Going forward, Meet will be available to anyone for free on the web at meet.google.com and via mobile apps for iOS or Android. 

Meetings are limited to 60 minutes for the free product, though Google says it will not enforce this time limit until after 30 September.

Soltero says Meet was designed, built and operated to be secure at scale. Since January, Google has seen Meet’s peak daily usage grow by 30x. As of this month, Meet is hosting three billion minutes of video meetings and adding roughly three million new users every day. As of last week, Meet’s daily meeting participants surpassed 100 million. 

"With this growth comes great responsibility. Privacy and security are paramount, no matter if it’s a doctor sharing confidential health information with a patient, a financial advisor hosting a client meeting, or people virtually connecting with each other for graduations, holidays and happy hours," he says.

"Our approach to security is 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."

Six million companies and organisations already using G Suite already have access to Meet, however admins need to enable the product.

"Whether it’s hospitals supporting patients via telehealth, banks working with loan applicants, retailers assisting customers remotely, or manufacturers interacting safely with warehouse technicians, businesses across every industry are using Meet to stay connected," says Soltero.

Google is providing three ways for new and current enterprise customers to access Meet through to 30 September:

  • Free access to Meet’s advanced features for all G Suite customers, such as the ability to live stream for up to 100,000 viewers within your domain.
  • Free additional Meet licenses for existing G Suite customers without any amendments to their current contract.
  • Free G Suite Essentials for enterprise customers.