Google has wasted no time integrating its Meet videoconferencing into Gmail, with some customers already seeing a hyperlink to launch Meet within the left sidebar of the Gmail interface. Previously accessible solely to its enterprise and schooling clients by way of G Suite, the corporate stated final week that it was making Meet free to anybody with a Google account and permit conferences of as much as 100 folks with no cut-off dates.
Placing Meet entrance and heart is Google’s newest try to go head-to-head with Zoom, the ever present videoconferencing app that has to date dominated the stay-at-home period. Meet may have some privateness controls that Zoom has lacked (leading to situations of “Zoombombing”). You possibly can’t simply click on a hyperlink to affix a Meet; you’ll must log in to your Google account. If the assembly host (Meet host?) has not invited you, you’ll be despatched to a ready space till the host approves you. And in contrast to Zoom, the free model of Meet received’t have dial-in landline numbers for conferences.
Google and Microsoft are beginning to catch as much as Zoom within the videoconferencing area (though questions abound about how a lot Zoom really has grown). Microsoft has grown its Groups app to 75 million every day lively customers, the corporate stated final week throughout its earnings name. And Meet is including about three million new customers every day, based on Google, just lately passing 100 million every day Meet assembly individuals.
However Google all the time has been somewhat disorganized within the videoconferencing / chat division. (Keep in mind Gchat? And Allo?) Till final month, Meet was nonetheless known as Hangouts Meet, for instance. And Hangouts Chat (Google’s Slack competitor), can be nonetheless round, even when it’s been demoted in Gmail’s left sidebar to provide Meet higher positioning. That leaves Google with Hangouts Chat, Meet, and the unique Hangouts (though it’ll be phased out quickly), together with the Android Chat app and cell video chat app Duo.