Google Meet adding 2 million new users daily over past few weeks
Google Meet has also seen over 2 billion minutes of engagement per day.
Google on Friday said it has been adding as many as 2 million new users per day on Meet over the last few weeks as people log in to the video conferencing platform to connect with others remotely amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The tech giant said its infrastructure is geared to handle a further surge in usage and asserted that it remains committed to comply with all the security and privacy requirements for its customers.
"Google Meet has surged over 25 times from what it was in January, and recently a day to day growth surpassing 60 per cent...And we're onboarding over two million new users to the platform every day in the last few weeks, significant growth," Google Cloud Head of Security (Networking and Collaboration Specialists) Asia Pacific Mark Johnston told reporters.
"When COVID-19 led to this unprecedented increase in video conferencing, (our) infrastructure allowed us to scale to meet it (demand), even exceed it and there's still plenty of room to grow," he added.
The platform has seen over 2 billion minutes of engagement per day, he said.
Video conferencing tools like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and others have seen a significant jump in userbase and traffic as people connect while maintaining social distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak. There is also concern around the security of such platforms given that enterprises and governments are using these modes to carry out day-to-day business and sharing critical, sensitive information.
Recently, India's Home Affairs Ministry had said meeting platform Zoom is not safe and it is not to be used for official purposes by government officials. Zoom, in response to an emailed query, said it takes user privacy, security, and trust extremely seriously.
"Zoom was originally developed for enterprise use, and has been confidently selected for complete deployment by a large number of institutions globally, following security reviews of our user, network and datacenter layers," Sameer Raje, India Head of Zoom Video Communications, told PTI.
Talking about the steps taken by Google, Johnston said its enterprise offerings are encrypted by default, both at rest, and in transit.
"Encryption is pervasive in the way we apply and add significant security to our platform," he said.
Johnston, however, clarified that there is a difference between encryption by default and end-to-end encryption.
He cited the example of recording of meetings to be played back later and said cloud provides additional enrichment capability that end-to-end encryption would not be able to create.
Johnston said Google Meet employs an array of counter-abuse protections to keep meetings safe. These include anti-hijacking measures for both web meetings and dial-ins. He added that several features are being rolled out to help keep the meetings safe.
For example, only meeting creators and calendar owners can mute or remove other participants, which would ensure that instructors can't be removed or muted by student participants in a classroom setting. Also, only meeting creators and calendar owners can approve external participants' requests to join.