Wed, 30 Sep 2020 15:33:33
Google has announced it will keep Google Meet free for all Gmail users till March 31, 2021. This means that users can continue to have unlimited video calls on Meet for the next six months.
As per the announcement in April, Google planned to put a 60-minute time limit on Meet calls for free Gmail account users after Sep 31, 2020. But in the view of the ongoing pandemic that requires people to operate remotely, Google has postponed its plans for now.
Samil Pradhan, Google Meet’s Group Product Manager, broke this news in an official blog post. In his own words, Meet’s free period was extended to “continue helping those who rely on Meet to stay in touch over the coming months.”
Pradhan also revealed that some new features, such as casting calls to TV, background blur, and digital whiteboard, will soon make its way to Google’s video communication service.
When Google Meet went free earlier this year, services like GSuite and GSuite for Education also followed suit. The other two Google services were also scheduled to end free support on September 30, 2019, but the company did not mention anything explicitly regarding this in the latest announcement.
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So, it is likely that only Meet will get an extended free period whereas GSuite and GSuite for Education will restrict free access to its advanced features. This includes support for up to 250 participants in a video call, saving conference videos to Google Drive, and live streaming to over 100K viewers.
Continued unlimited access to Google Meet is a big boost to the offices and schools that are currently relying on the platform to operate remotely during the pandemic. The extension of free Meet services would surely help the tech giant win more fans out there.
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