On April 29, 2020, Google announced its plan to make its premium video meeting service, famously known as Google Meet, free for everyone. With over 10,000,000 install count in Google Playstore, Google Meet was only part of Google’s G Suite paid cloud service.
In an article posted on Google Meet’s official website, Javier Soltero, Vice President & GM of G Suite explains that the decision to make it free for everyone came after realizing how powerful video meetings have been in bringing people together during Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.
In a space where Zoom and Skype have already established their customer base, Google Meet is a welcome addition that will be popular to many. Here is why:
It’s a huge understatement to say that Google rules the internet. We all depend on Google services one way or another and given how reliable and user friendly Google apps tend to be, I think many people will be happy to have yet another important tool from such a familiar brand. Video Meetings have become an essential part of communication since the social distancing order was established in most countries due to COVID-19. This is a smart move by Google to woo a customer base looking for a simple, familiar and effective way to communicate.
Weaknesses of Zoom and Skype
Zoom and Skype may be able to do what they are intended to do, but one thing you can’t say about them is that they are user-friendly. As a tech-savvy person myself, I am amazed at how long it takes to get zoom up and running. Even once you’re up and running, the process of creating or joining a meeting is very unintuitive. As a details and design nut, I find the zoom interface cranky, old and difficult to navigate. You literally have to exit out of the meeting screen in order to access some controls.
Skype also suffers the same drawbacks. As much as it has been the go-to solution for small-scale video communications —and a pioneer at that to be honest, Microsoft just hasn’t been able to make it simple to use and its interface still suffers years old annoyances.
Therefore, given how modern and easy to use Google apps always seem to be, it’s safe to assume many people will find Google Meet to be a welcome savior and an almost perfect tool to help them go through the inconveniences of this lockdown.
It’s also worth noting that Google Meet is one-uping Zoom by offering free 60 Minutes meetings while the later only allows 40 Minutes. Google also promises to make the platform the most secure option among the competition.
I have never subscribed to G Suite and therefore don’t have a personal experience using Google Meet, but I am excited to give it a try and I am very optimistic that it will solve all my annoyances with other video conferencing platforms.
I intend to write a full review of it once it starts rolling out to the public in the coming days.