Google Meet rattles Zoom with free 60 minutes meetings for users

Tech giant Google said the video conferencing tool formerly known as Google Hangouts Meet, is arriving for consumers “over the coming weeks.”

As it was with the Hangouts, anyone with a Google Account will be able to start, join, and schedule a Google Meet call for free “starting in early May.”

There are however some limitations, as Meet video calls can have up to 100 participants and last up to 60 minutes.

CEO Sundar Pichai revealed that Google Meet passed 100 million daily active users (DAUs) last week and is adding “roughly” 3 million new users every day. That’s still a far cry from Zoom’s 300 million DAUs, but at least it’s on the same order of magnitude.

Last month, Microsoft shared that Skype’s daily active users were up 70% but did not disclose an exact figure.

The changes haven’t come as a surprise in the age of coronavirus where workers are increasingly using video conferencing tools.

Zoom remains the undisputable leader, leaving other tech giants scrambling to catch up. Last month, Skype started letting users join video meetings without having to sign up or download anything, while Facebook joined the race by launching Messenger Rooms.

All you need to join a Google Meet meeting is a Google Account, which anyone can sign up for using an email address.

Free meetings only last for 60 minutes, though Google is not enforcing that limit until September 30.

It however marks an improvement over Zoom’s 40-minute limit. On the other hand, Skype and Messenger Rooms do not have any time limits.

Google Meet also maxes out at 100 participants. Zoom has a 100-participant limitation for free users, as well, though there are ways to expand this (the Business plan limit is 300, Enterprise is 500, and Enterprise Plus is 1,000). Skype and Messenger Rooms both max out at 50 participants.

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