Google has formally announced it is launching a free version of its video conferencing app, Google Meet. Earlier, it was available only through G Suite to enterprise and educational customers. In an effort to compete directly with Zoom during this pandemic, however, Google is now making the Google Meet App free for anybody with a Google account who wants to use the software.
Google account holders are now able to establish free meetings of up to 100 people all the way to September for an unlimited period of time. After that month every video conference’s length will be limited to 60 minutes.
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Although the features that are available obviously make Meet more than just a match for Zoom, Google also decided to concentrate on addressing privacy concerns that were prevalent in the latter. The privacy features that it plans to implement include not allowing users to join meetings unless invited via connection or approved by the host, not allowing anonymous users to join, and requiring users of mobile phones to use the official Google Meet application.
Google has also clarified that Meet data is being secured and not being sold to advertisers or third parties. The company reported in a recent blog post: “Google Cloud is undergoing routine, comprehensive security and privacy audits for all of its services. Our global compliance certifications will help to meet regulatory requirements such as GDPR and HIPAA, and educational COPPA and FERPA. Your Meet data is not used for ads, and we are not selling your data to third parties. “It should be remembered that Google Meet is not in itself a new feature. It is merely the business-oriented version of Google Hangouts, the common communications site.