Google Meet, the company’s premium video conferencing product, is now free for anyone who wants to use it.
Previously known as ‘Google Hangouts Meet,’ the tool has only been available to G Suite customers until now.
Last month, the premium version of Meet was made free to existing G Suite users.
People could join a Meet call without paying for the product, but the call still had to be started by someone with a paid G Suite account.
That’s changing so everyone can start calls on Meet without having to pay for anything.
Google Meet can be used by groups, teams, businesses, organizations, schools, and higher-ed learning institutions.
For the first time, individuals will be able to broadcast a call on Google Meet for anyone to join.
Google is also offering some additional perks for those who are already G Suite customers.
Here’s more about how different categories of users can benefit from this now-free video conferencing product from Google.
Google Meet for Individuals
Originally designed to be a collaborative tool for businesses and organizations, Google Meet has never been available outside of G Suite before.
Now, individual users can create a Google Meet account and host their own video calls.
As examples of how individuals can use this product, Google suggests hosting fitness classes, book clubs, neighborhood meetings, happy hours with friends, and so on.
Ordinarily, meetings would be limited to 60 minutes for the free product, but Google is not enforcing a time limit until after September 30.
Groups and Teams
Organizations that aren’t already G Suite customers will now have access to G Suite Essentials.
G Suite Essentials allows organizations to access advanced features such as dial-in phone numbers, larger meetings, and meeting recordings.
Google is making G Suite Essentials available for free until September 30.
Businesses and Organizations
Google is providing three ways for new and current enterprise customers to access Meet through Sept. 30:
- Free access to Meet’s advanced features for all G Suite customers, such as the ability to live stream for up to 100,000 viewers within your domain.
- Free additional Meet licenses for existing G Suite customers without any amendments to their current contract.
- Free G Suite Essentials for enterprise customers.
Schools and Higher-Ed Institutions
Schools that do not currently use G Suite for Education can now sign up for free.
Google Meet can then be enabled from G Suite for Education at no added cost.
Timed Rollout Over Several Weeks
This update to Google Meet will be rolling out over the coming weeks, with free users being able to sign up in early May.
“Starting in early May, anyone with an email address can sign up for Meet and enjoy many of the same features available to our business and education users, such as simple scheduling and screen sharing, real-time captions, and layouts that adapt to your preference, including an expanded tiled view.”
Google notes that some users may not be able to create meetings immediately after signing up.
That’s because the rollout process is expected to take several weeks.
A timed rollout is designed to ensure Google Meet continues to offer a secure and reliable experience as the product expands to more users.
Users can sign up at meet.google.com to be notified as soon as the free product is available.
How many people can join a Google Meet call?
Google Meet users can typically organize meetings with up to 100 participants. Now, all G Suite customers are able to access Advanced Meet features through Sept. 30, 2020, including 250-person meetings, live streaming to 100,000 people within an organization, and recording meetings.
Who can use Google Meet for free?
Going forward, Google Meet will be available to anyone for free on the web at meet.google.com and via mobile apps for iOS or Android.
Until when will Google Meet be free?
Google Meet accounts for individuals will be free going forward, subject to a 60-minute limit which will be enforced after September 30, 2020.