Google is making its video conferencing tool, Meet, available for free to everyone, the Mountain View-based search giant announced Wednesday and detailed in a blog post.
Until now, users were able to participate in a Meet call without paying, but the call host needed a paid G Suite account to start calls.
Making Google Meet free likely will stiffen the competition with Zoom, the San Jose-based video conferencing company that has soared in popularity since the coronavirus shelter-at-home crisis began but that also has seen a number of hacking issues, or Zoom-bombing.
Meeting participants will need a Google account. The company says Meet offers a safer platform because it runs in the browser and thus is less open to security threats.
Free access to Meet will be gradual, starting next week, and it may take a few weeks before access is universal, the company said.
Free meetings on the Google application cannot exceed 100 participants, and after September, they will be limited to 60 minutes long, Google said.