Google announces that the video conferencing offered on its Meet service becomes free, allowing everyone to organize rooms for up to 100 people at the same time.
It is the escalation in video telephony. WhatsApp which now allows video calls up to 8 people at the same time. Facebook which unveils Rooms and its lounges that can accommodate 50 Internet users at once. Telegram which also intends to launch into this niche. And now Google, which has just come down in the arena, with an announcement on April 29 regarding Meet.
From now on, the Mountain View firm’s videoconferencing tool becomes free for everyone, thus offering Internet users the possibility of organizing sessions that can receive up to 100 people at the same time (ceiling for G Suite Basic, which reaches 150 with G Suite Business and G Suite for Education, and 250 with G Suite Enterprise and G Suite Enterprise for Education).
According to Google, this switch will start from May and will run over several weeks. Access to the service will require you to have an email address to register and take advantage of Meet’s features (screen sharing, dedicated application on Android and iOS, invitation link for third parties, recording of meetings, public streaming, appointment scheduling, extended tiled display, etc.).
Google warns, however, that access to meetings on the free version of Meet will be restricted to one hour per session. However, in view no doubt of the constraints caused by the health crisis, which in particular require physical distancing and the use of teleworking, this limit will not be applied before September 30, 2020. Especially since this maximum duration could to be a foil.
Google increases commitments on security
One question remains: will Internet users follow? In any case, Google has made every effort to make a list of all the measures that have been taken to show that it takes video seriously, in order to avoid slippages similar to those of which Zoom has been the victim in recent years. weeks, like the arrival of unwanted people in meetings – a phenomenon that has been dubbed.
For example, anonymous users aren’t allowed to join meetings created by individual accounts, and invite links are made complex so they can’t be guessed. In addition, each host has access to moderation options allowing them to mute a third party who does not want to be silent, block the entry of a participant or kick them if they become a problem.
To further reduce exposure to all kinds of risks, Google also observes that it uses web technologies and not a particular plugin and that it also provides dedicated applications, designed by itself, and available in the two main application stores (App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android). And the use of specific web browsers is also required.
Google ensures that videos are encrypted as they circulate on the net (however, they are not end-to-end encrypted, which is the highest security option). They are also used when they are stored in Google Drive, in case the company’s cloud computing service is hacked, so that the recorded content is not exposed to malicious third parties.
The American company recalls that its service is subject to regular security and confidentiality audits and that it is compatible with regulations such as the GDPR. As for the data relating to Meet that Internet users produce, Google ensures that they are neither used for advertising purposes, nor marketed, nor transferred to third parties.
Provisions that already seem to have convinced many users. Google says there are now more than 100 million daily users, according to figures for April. And the duration of use is increasing, with maximum daily use of Meet multiplied by 30 since January. Statistics that should continue to improve with the switch to free.