Since the coronavirus quarantine spread to several countries, the video call segment has heated up. This Wednesday, 29, Google also enters strongly in the dispute. The company announces that as of May 4, Google Meet, a tool previously exclusive to corporate customers, will be made available to individuals, allowing a wide audience to make group video calls.

With 100 million active users per month, Google Meet is the first tool in G Suite, Google’s corporate suite for businesses, made available to the general public. Calls can be made with up to 100 people – until September, they can be up to 24 hours long. After this period, calls will be one hour long.

Google will make Meet available to anyone with a company account

Photo: Google / Disclosure / Estadão

“We have seen growth in this product over the past three months, and we have been investing in it for two years,” state Javier Soltero, director responsible for the tool at the company. The report participated with other journalists from Latin America in a question and answer session with the executive. Soltero had been asked whether Google’s decision is related to the success of Zoom, which reached 300 million users during the quarantine.

“We need to remember our many years of experience with Hangouts on the market for the end consumer. Hangouts is on a different infrastructure than Meet, which will be disabled. So that everyone had the same quality, it made sense to offer Meet to everyone,” explained.

Thus, anyone with a Google account will be able to initiate video calls from the service’s website – the company will not allow anonymous users to join the conversations. The measure is a response to Zoom’s security flaws, which allowed invasions on the connections, a phenomenon that has earned the nickname ‘Zoom bombing’ in the USA. Among other measures that seem to be responses to the rival are cryptography at all times of the call, a complex link to enter the calls, the need for approval by the caller and the need to install additional programs and plugins – it will work directly in the browser or in the applications for iOS and Android.

Soltero says that if an account is terminated by call participants, it may be suspended from services. Zoom was criticized for allowing the presence of ‘strangers’ in the calls, as well as for having cryptographic loopholes.

One of Zoom’s arguments is that many of its privacy and security problems arose after the growth of ‘ordinary’ users in a service that had been designed for the corporate segment. The Google executive says he does not see a similar problem. “We will not be taken by surprise. The infrastructure that will serve the Meet is the same used by YouTube, Google Maps and Google Search. Regarding users, this dilemma between ease and security does not exist. It is possible to do both”, told the report.

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