Google has announced that it will be making its Meet premium video calling feature free to everyone from next month. Meet has been in the middle of a slow rollout but it will be available to everyone from early May.

Meet will return to its previous free limitations – calls of 60 minutes or less – to non-paying customers from October 1, but until that time it will be available to anyone who has a Google account. And that’s quite a lot of people.

The move comes at a time where video calling apps and features are being used more than ever. The coronavirus pandemic means that workers are staying home, making remote meetings more common.

Zoom is one app that has become particularly prominent in recent weeks, although not always for the right reasons. Meet will be joining Apple’s FaceTime and Skype in a popular market right now.

We’ve invested years in making Meet a secure and reliable video conferencing solution that’s trusted by schools, governments and enterprises around the world, and in recent months we’ve accelerated the release of top-requested features to make it even more helpful. Starting in early May, anyone with an email address can sign up for Meet and enjoy many of the same features available to our business and education users, such as simple scheduling and screen sharing, real-time captions, and layouts that adapt to your preference, including an expanded tiled view.

Google Meet will support video calls of up to 100 people with screen sharing also available for those who need to be able to present. You can get ready by downloading the Hangouts Meet app or going to meet.google.com in a web browser. You can also sign up to be notified when your account is good to go.

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