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Making Google Meet Free: Google Cloud Envisions Secured, Disruption-Free Video Conferencing for Everyone

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Google Cloud has announced Meet Video conferencing built with the scalability, privacy, and security required for businesses shall soon be made available to anyone and everyone with a valid email ID.

It’s been a mixed month for Video conferencing Cloud software providers. And, then BlueJeans got acquired by Verizon Media, followed by Zoom’s decision to approach Oracle to meet its infrastructure needs. Even Facebook decided to double down on its video conferencing and virtual meeting platform by announcing Messenger Rooms.

COVID-19 pandemic greatly exposed chinks in the IT infrastructure when it comes to successfully migrate to remote workplace culture. In these tough conditions, a virtual conferencing tool with a high-quality video rendition and add-on security features clearly snatch the “winners” title in the way they equip every user with real-time interaction opportunities. In such desperate times, Google Meet has decided to go free– yes, anyone with an email ID can now use Google Meet and enjoy the same features available to G Suite for business and education users.

Reason: More Video interaction = More screen time to influence customer decisions and making everyone happy. Even for non-business entities, using Google Meet could be the best way to meet their loved ones virtually, moving away from WhatsApp Messenger, Facetime, Houseparty, or other Video messaging services.

The timing of Google Meet’s free usage comes within weeks of its rebranding from Google Meet. With Video-bombing and security issues creating a sense of fear and nauseating dilemma among users who leverage Video conferencing platforms to meet and update their daily activities, Google Meet’s free usage could prove to be a lifeline.

And, with free usage, Google Meet is ensuring no anonymous callers can join the meeting. Security measures have been tightened, to almost take away any scope of “gate-crashing” without invitation.

Users logging in with free Meet service can do the following:

  • Set up simple scheduling and screen sharing
  • See real-time captions, and
  • Use layouts that adapt to your preference, including the expanded tiled view.

At the time of this announcement, Javier Soltero, VP of G Suite said –

“With the lines blurred between work and home, Google Meet can offer the polish needed for a work meeting, a tiled view for your online birthday party, and the security needed for a video call with your doctor.”

Javier added, “We’re in the middle of a significant worldwide shift impacting communication from the workplace to schools to the home. People want familiar, secure tools that they can use across all facets of their lives.”

Starting 1 May, Google Cloud is expected to see significant growth in the number of registrations and fill-ins for Google Meet use.

Quick Facts on Google Meet
Usage

In April 2020, Meet is hosting 3 billion minutes of Video meetings and adding roughly 3 million new users every day.

As of last week, Meet registered 100 million daily users. Since January 2020, Google Meet peak daily usage has grown by 30x.

Security

Google Meet doesn’t require any plugins to be installed. Users on Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Microsoft Edge browsers can directly use Meet.

Meet supports 2-Step Verification (2SV) options for Meet: Security keys, Google Authenticator, Google prompt, and SMS text message.

Users can also avail Google’s Advanced Protection Program (APP) to protect against phishing and account hijacking events.

Google Cloud protects customer data and doesn’t sell it to third parties. No attention-tracking software are placed alongside Meet, to ensure robust privacy commitments are met by Google under CCPA and GDPR laws.

Automated AI and Machine Learning-based incident detection and incident response protocols are in place, handled by dedicated SMEs to respond to any data incident.

In a recent article, Google experts explained how Google Meet safeguards against meeting hijacking.

Karthik Lakshminarayanan, Director of Product Management (G Suite Security & Controls) and Smita Hashim, Director of Product Management (Google Meet, Voice & Calendar) wrote:

“Google Meet makes it difficult to programmatically brute force meeting IDs (this is when a malicious individual attempts to guess the ID of a meeting and make an unauthorized attempt to join it) by using codes that are 10 characters long, with 25 characters in the set. We limit the ability of external participants to join a meeting more than 15 minutes in advance, reducing the window in which a brute force attack can even be attempted.”

Google Meet is audited as per international security standards such as SOC, ISO/IEC 27001/17/18, HITRUST, and FedRAMP. It also supports for GDPR and HIPAA, as well as COPPA and FERPA for education.

To register for Free Google Meet services, please register here.

Best Google Meet Alternatives

Based on our numerous product reviews of Video conferencing platforms and what MarTech CMOs in our interview divulge about their stacks, here are the best Google Meet alternatives.

(To share your insights on how video conferencing tools and virtual meeting platforms have enabled you to run business, please write to us at sghosh@martechseries-67ee47.ingress-bonde.easywp.com)

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