Google improving features in video tool MEET to win over customers

Began on Thursday, business and education users of Google will now be allowed to take calls of its videoconferencing too MEET directly on Gmail.com.

Alphabet Inc’s unit introduced the new feature in a bid to gain on rival services in the midst of growing security and other concerns about such services.

Integrating MEET with e-mail is the very first feature that has been launched ahead of its original schedule and there are several other features to be launched before previously planned time as the demand for video conferencing is surging rapidly, said Javier Soltero, Google vice president.

MEET is a video conferencing tool by Google available only to governments, businesses and schools and is very different from its Hangouts tool which is focuses the consumers only. Since January, MEET remained adding daily users faster than any other service of Google has added. Because of the lockdowns to stop the spread of coronavirus, millions of institutions are now relying on MEET, the company said.

Google is in plans of adding other functionalities also this month, Soltero said. MEET will be offering a layout feature of displaying up to 16 participants connected through a videoconferencing call. The service will also improve video quality of those calls made in dim lighting and will be filtering background noises like keyboard clicks or slamming doors.

Soltero did not disclose the specific growth rate of MEET, but said that the latest highest number was 60% more users than that of a day ago.

With availability on a desktop browser as well as through mobile apps, MEET was attracting 2 million new users to its platform everyday and had more than 100 million education users attached with the service in 150 countries, as announced the Google on Thursday.

Customers will not be charged for upgrades to features related to MEET till September, a bid by the company to widen its customer base in the long run.