Google extends free access for advanced teleconferencing features to September 30th

Amidst the ongoing situation of COVID-19 pandemic and millions of users turning to online platforms to work from home, several apps have become the centre of keen observation from tech experts to ensure the safety of millions of users globally. Google recently banned Zoom among its employees from being used as a tool for working from home due to its consistent reports of security hacks and system bugs. 

Google Meet is a rebranded app for Google’s Hangouts Meet. This platform for hosting video conferences and live streaming became apparent after Google posted a blog about it, with several support pages mentioning this service. 

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The tech giant announced today that it is extending free access to some advanced features in Google Meet, a video conferencing alternate. These features, in particular, are only available on “enterprise” tier for G Suite. It is letting its G Suite and G Suite for Education customers host mass meetings via Google Meet with up to 250 participants and live stream, with up to 100,000 viewers in a single domain. The recordings for these meetings can be saved to Google Drive as well. 

In a statement to The Verge, Javier Soltero, Vice president and General Manager of G Suite said:

“Whether working with consumers or businesses, you shouldn’t have to trade reliability, security and privacy for universal access and scale. During this time, people must have access to the apps and tools they enjoy using, and I have always held up G Suite as the best examples of products that win by choice. We take this responsibility very seriously, and as a company, we look to helpfulness as a guiding principle.”

Google Meet experienced a rapid surprise in usage as families and workers are staying indoors to fight the ongoing disease. The company claims that Meet is adding up to 2 million users daily, with the usage going up by about 25% since the start of this year. 

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The app allows users to join pre-scheduled meetings from calendar events via a link, entering a meeting code or even dialing in from their phones if the invitation includes a phone number. Google Meet integrates with G Suite versions of Google Calendar and Gmail and shows the complete list of participants and scheduled meetings. It shows a “join” button for users to connect to the meeting and provides options to mute and turn off the video during the meeting.

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