After recording about 3 million new users daily, Google has now integrated its Meet videoconferencing into Gmail, some users have reported they can already see a link to launch Meet in the left sidebar of the Gmail interface.
Meet was only available only to its enterprise and education customers via G Suite until recently when Alphabet Inc said last week that it was making Meet free to anyone with a Google account and allow meetings of up to 100 people with no time limits.
Putting Meet front and center is Google’s latest attempt to go head-to-head with Zoom, the ubiquitous videoconferencing app that has so far ruled the stay-at-home era. Meet will have some privacy controls that Zoom has lacked like zoombombing, To use Meet, you’ll have to log in to your Google account. If the meeting host (Meet host?) has not invited you, you’ll be sent to a waiting area until the host approves you. And unlike Zoom, the free version of Meet won’t have dial-in landline numbers for meetings.
Google and Microsoft are starting to catch up to Zoom in the videoconferencing space (although questions abound about how much Zoom actually has grown). Microsoft has grown its Teams app to 75 million daily active users, the company said last week during its earnings call. According to Google, Meet recently passed 100 million daily Meet meeting participants.