The previous deadline for this was September 30, 2020.
Here's why this update is important.
Google Meet: Keeping in view the need generated during the coronavirus pandemic, Google had made its premium video conferencing solution Google Meet free for all Gmail users back in April, with a limit of upto 24 hours for a single meeting. Back then, it had announced that this service would remain in place till September 30, after which the duration of a single meeting would be reduced, much like its competitor Zoom has done, limiting the free calls to a maximum of 40 minutes per meeting. However, with the coronavirus pandemic’s end nowhere visible, Google has decided to extend this feature for free users till March 31 next year!
In a statement, the tech giant said that they felt that with the holiday season around the corner, lesser travel due to precautions and precedents of important events taking place over video calls, it was important to extend its free Meet calls further.
Google Meet stepped in at a time when video conferencing became suddenly popular among users due to the pandemic and the ensuing lockdown. While Zoom cashed in on the first wave, Meet was not far behind, and cashed in on the security issues that cropped in Zoom meetings, touting its Meet to be a highly secure platform. This caused users wary of their safety to quickly jump ships, as a result of which, Meet became very popular very fast. Moreover, the 24-hour time limit to its free meetings, as against the 40-minute limit for Zoom, also made it a preferred choice for users.
Here’s why this update is important.
Google Meet for free users
This update is significant for the free Google account users. Now continuing till next March, free Google account holders would be allowed to hold unlimited number of meetings over Google Meet, with each meeting having a capped time limit of 24 hours. This virtually translates to unlimited free video calling over Google Meet for all the users.
Google users can access Meet using their Gmail account itself, on the web as well as on the app. They can choose to start a new meeting or join an existing one, if they have been invited.
Google Meet meetings are secure as the users must either be invited to a meeting via a link or even dial in to the meeting if they have the pin. However, there is a second layer of security, where the host would be required to let the users in. This allows the organisers to ensure that no unwanted guests are lurking in the meeting, looking for a chance to cause disruptions.
So now, continue your meetings on Google Meet without any worry!