Google’s premium video conferencing product, Google Meet, is now free for everybody. The product, which was previously called Google Hangouts Meet, has only been available to G Suite customers until now. The premium version of the product was made free to existing G Suite users last month.
Users were able to join a Meet call without paying for the product, but the call had to be started by somebody who had a paid G Suite account. Now, everybody has access to Meet without having to pay.
Google Meet can be used by Groups, teams, businesses, schools, and higher-ed learning institutions. And for the first time, individuals can broadcast a call on Google Meet for anybody to join.
Additional perks are being offered for those who are already G Suite customers. Here are some info about how different categories of users can benefit from this now-free video conferencing product.
Google Meet for Individuals
This feature has never been available outside of G Suite before, as it was originally designed to be a collaborative tool for businesses and organiztions.
Individuals can use Google Meet for things like fitness classes, book clubs, neighborhood meets, and more.
Normally, meetings would be limited to 60 minutes for the free product, but this will not be enforced this time limit after September 30.
Groups and Teams
Organizations that don’t have G Suite customers will now have access to G Suites Essentials. This allows organizations to access advanced features like dial-in phone numbers, larger meetings and meeting recordings. G Suit Essentials will be made available for free until September 30.
Business 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 aren’t currently using 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 said that there will be some users who might not be able to create meetings immediately after signing up. This is because the rollout process is expected to take several weeks. The reason for a timed rollout is meant 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.