Google Meet, the company's video conferencing tool, is now integrated directly into Gmail, making it easier for people to join video calls.
The change means that Meet, which was previously only available to paid users of G Suite, is now available to everyone with a Gmail account.
By baking Meet into Gmail, Google will save users from switching between different apps to attend calls. The company has also announced that any user will be able to create free meetings of up to 100 attendees without any time limit, although it may introduce a 60-minute limit on these calls after September.
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“With Meet in Gmail, you can easily start or join a meeting in seconds. Our goal is to help you follow the flow of the day, seamlessly switching between email and video meetings—whichever form of communication you need,” Google announced in a blog post.
The option to join or start a meeting on Meet will be available on the left-hand panel in Gmail and is currently rolled out in a phased manner to Gmail web users. Google has plans to make the service available for mobile users, however, the app version is still a work in progress and is “coming soon”.
Google Meet is one of many such services that have experienced a spike in usage due to the coronavirus-led lockdown that has forced people to communicate online. Applications like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have all reported millions of additional users in the last few months.
Earlier Google’s CEO announced that Meet was adding two million new users every day, while Microsoft recently revealed a 70% increase in Microsoft Meet’s usage and saw over 200 million participants on a single day in April.
Zoom, on the other hand, has had its highs and lows at the same time. While its userbase ballooned, the app was involved in multiple controversies around security, Zoombombing, and even reporting a bloated user count.
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