Google has re-engineered its video conferencing tool Google Meet, originally built for secure business meetings, to make it free and available to all.
For G Suite customers, the tool can accommodate up to 250 people in one session; while Google Meet for individuals can accommodate up to 100 people.
Anyone with an email address can now sign up and get started for free. In the coming days users will also be able to access Meet directly in Gmail.
Announcing the completion of the roll-out in a blog post, Javier Soltero, Vice President & General Manager of G Suite, said, "In a few short months, working together took on a whole new meaning, and meetings became about so much more than getting things done."
As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe and people are confined to their homes, daily activities from medical check-ups and workouts, to education and gatherings with friends have all moved online. "They may not look or feel like traditional meetings, but they’re the most important meetings happening right now."
Since making Meet's advanced features free for all G Suite and G Suite for Education users in March, there had been a 30 times increase in daily usage, with Meet hosting 3 billion minutes of video meetings daily.
"Last month, we were adding roughly 3 million new users every day. That's why we're expanding the offering to more people around the world," Soltero said.