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As Zoom seems to be taking over as the go-to video conferencing tool in the current COVID-19 climate, Google has responded by making Google Meet, their own video conferencing service, free for everyone to use in an effort to claw back some ground.
Previously, Google Meet was only available to owners of enterprise or education accounts via G Suite so opening this up to anyone with a standard Google account is a welcomed move. Additionally, an improvement over its Zoom counterpart, all meetings can have up to 100 people and last as long as you want. This is infinitely greater than the 40-minute limit you get with the standard account on Zoom and could be the tipping point for many. However, Google also implied that post-September, this time limit may be restricted to a 60 minute total so Meet’s success could be short-lived.
Looking at security and privacy, both Zoom and Google have faced their fair share of backlash with leaked details and account hacking. On the flip side, Google has anticipated this, stating in a blog post that the improved meeting code generation and encrypted video calls quell any hacking potential and will keep not only your details safe but any recordings that may occur in the process.
With Zoom basically taking over in terms of video conferencing tools, is this too little too late for Google Meet to have a real impact? Or will the carrot of unlimited meeting time grab the attention of Zoom users frustrated by this aspect? I personally think Google has a real shot of taking a large number of Zoom users over to Google Meet due to the time feature, alongside Meet being run in Chrome, avoiding any software downloads.
Let the videoconferencing battle commence!