Spurred by seemingly popular demand, Google has announced that it is making Google Meet premium features free for all G Suite users till September 30. Google had previously announced that it would offer these advanced tools to customers until July 1. Google Meet is the rebranded version of Hangouts Meet, the global search engine giant’s video conferencing app that rivals Microsoft’s Teams and the overnight sensation Zoom.
“Over the past several weeks, we’ve seen Google Meet — G Suite’s video conferencing solution — help millions of people stay connected,” Google said in a statement. “More than 2 million new users are connecting on Google Meet every day, and they’re spending over 2 billion minutes together.”
Which is why Google is extending the availability of advanced Google Meet video-conferencing capabilities to all G Suite users beyond the previous July 1 extension to September 30 to “ensure businesses, organizations, institutions, and educators continue to be supported during this time.” What this basically means is that all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers globally will have free access to Google Meet ‘enterprise’ features until September 30. An enterprise G Suite subscription normally costs Rs 1,650 per month in India.
More precisely, all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers will be able to host video conference meetings with up to 250 participants, live stream these meetings to up to 1,000 people using a single domain, and also record and save them to Google Drive for free during the period.
The Coronavirus outbreak has entailed a surge in video calling/conferencing apps around the world. More and more people are now using these apps for work, for education, or simply staying connected with their near and dear ones, while cooped inside their homes to curb the spread of COVID-19. The increased reliance on these cloud-based solutions is also raising concerns about privacy. Google has tried to address some of these concerns through a blog post, highlighting how Google Meet is more secure, private and reliable than competing apps. Google is particularly touting end-to-end encryption and how its network is engineered to accommodate peak demand and handle future growth during these unprecedented times.
Google is not the only company offering free access to its enterprise video calling solutions to its customers. Microsoft has taken it a step ahead by providing the premium tier of its Teams app for free to users globally for six months.
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