Instead of offering its Google Meet video conferencing platform to enterprise and education customers via G Suite only, Google is opening up the service for anybody who wants to use it. The company has announced that everyone with a Google account is eligible to create free meetings of up to 100 people for an unlimited amount of time through to September. After that, the duration of the meeting will be restricted to 60 minutes.
In order to prevent Zoom-like privacy issues, Google requires all users joining the meeting to sign in via their Google accounts. 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.
- The web version of the platform will not work with any plugins.
- Mobile phone users will have to use the official Google Meet application.
The news was announced in a recent blog post where the Alphabet-owned enterprise explained:
Google Cloud undergoes regular rigorous security and privacy audits for all its services. Our global compliance certifications can help support regulatory requirements such as GDPR and HIPAA, as well as COPPA and FERPA for education. Your Meet data is not used for advertising, and we don’t sell your data to third parties.
This is clearly Google’s way of differentiating Google Meets from Zoom. For those who don’t know, Google Meets was called Hangouts Meet until a month ago. The platform was rebranded last month with immaculate timing.