After Facebook, Google also wants to counter the success of the video conference service Zoom in the corona crisis with an improved offer of its own.
The Internet company makes the premium version of its Google Meet service intended for corporate customers available to consumers free of charge. You need a Google account to use Meet for free.
With its video conference service originally intended for companies, Zoom became a surprising climber in the Corona period after the company lifted restrictions for private customers. The number of daily users rose from 10 million in December to 300 million recently. Zoom thus became the best-known communication platform of the Corona era, although the established internet giants also offer video chat services and some have a customer base consisting of several billion users. According to the latest information, Google Meet has 100 million users a day.
In the free version of Google Meet, a video conference is limited to 60 minutes – but this restriction is lifted by the end of September, as the Internet company announced on Wednesday. The free version of Zoom provides 40 minutes. Just like with Zoom, up to 100 free users can participate in a video chat. Facebook’s competitor Messenger Rooms, launched last week, will soon have 50 – initially around 20.
As with other services, you can join meet video chats via web links, among other things. At Zoom, the process caused acute problems for widespread use outside of companies. With so-called zoom bombing, foreign video conferences interfere – if the link became public or they guessed the conference ID. Among other things, Zoom is now taking countermeasures to protect conferences with a password.
On the other hand, Meet relies on complex IDs that cannot be guessed, said Google manager Serge Lachapelle. In addition, unknown participants can be denied access to the video chat. That’s why Meet initially refrains from passwords. Meet runs in Google’s web browser Chrome, without additional plug-ins, which should also make the service more secure.
Google also wants to score with its strength in machine learning: algorithms should improve the image in low light conditions and filter out disturbing noise in the background. Google is giving up the previous brand name Hangouts for its video chat products by expanding Meet, said Lachapelle.
Zoom stock currently loses 3.92 percent to $ 149.98 in Nasdaq trading.
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