SAN FRANCISCO: Google has announced to make it’s business videoconferencing service free to all users amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Google Meet was previously limited for subscribers to the premium G-Suite software tools for businesses. However, after the announcement, everyone with a Google account is eligible to create free meetings of up to 100 people.
The free meetings will be held for an unlimited amount of time through to September. After that, the duration of the meeting will be restricted to 60 minutes. According to Google said free access will roll out gradually in the coming weeks.
G-Suite vice president Javier Soltero said, “Google Meet will be available to all users around the world, to enable people all walks of life to communicate collaborate and really stay in touch more effectively through the pandemic.”
Google touted security and reliability features of Meet and its foundation in the California-based internet giant’s computing cloud. The use of video calls and conferencing has rocketed as people work, learn, and socialize remotely while staying home to avoid the coronavirus.
Moreover, the company will also be introducing a few other privacy features including not allowing users to join a meeting until they are invited via a link or approved by the host. Anonymous users will not be allowed to join and mobile phone users will have to use its official application.
The announcement came after many people turned to Zoom, which has scrambled to stem security problems such as data hacking and harassment by individuals who crash sessions in what is referred to as “Zoombombing.”
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