What is Google Meet?

Google's premium (now free) video conferencing tool, Google Meet, is a worthy rival to Zoom.

What Is Google Meet? Everything You Need To Know About Google's Video Conferencing Tool

Google Meet has been getting buzz recently. After Google decided to make its then-premium-only product available for free, people’s curiosity as to what Google Meet spiked hard.

In today’s guide, we’ll dive into a broad overview of Google’s shiny new tool, one that’s seemingly a great contender for video conferencing giants like Zoom.

What is Google Meet?

Google Meet is a freemium video conferencing tool developed as part of the G Suite Essentials for G Suite users. G Suite, to those who don’t know, is Google’s cloud-based suite of office tools that includes Gmail, Drive, Docs, and more.

G Suite Updates Blog: Present high-quality video and audio in ...
Google Meet in action.

What makes Google Meet stand out is its deep integrations with Google’s slew of other office tools. Most recently, Google has made it available on Gmail apps in both iOS and Android devices. Google’s ecosystem makes Meet quite convenient to use too; for instance, a meeting link is automatically created when you schedule an event with team members using Google Calendar.

Other standout features include noise cancellation (coming soon), close captioning with Google’s advanced speech recognition, and a tiled view similar to Zoom’s much-beloved gallery view.

How does it stack up against Zoom?

Speaking of Zoom, Google Meet is pretty clearly trying to compete with Zoom’s early dominance with video conferencing.

Google is therefore riding a lot on security, a feature that Zoom has been notoriously caught under fire more than once. In addition, Google Meet has intro’d its own take on virtual backgrounds, a fun way to make remote meetings more interesting.

What Is Google Meet? Everything You Need To Know About Google's Video Conferencing Tool
Google Meet also has support for virtual backgrounds.

Meetings on Google Meet can run up to sixty minutes versus Zoom’s forty. This limit, along with other premium features, is also lifted until September 30, 2020 as courtesy to teams who are sheltered at home throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Google Meet also lets users record meetings, which are automatically stored in Google Drive. However, only G Suite administrators have access to this feature.

What’s the difference between Google Meet and Hangouts?

Surprisingly, few people know about the demise of Hangouts, Google’s doe-eyed team communication app. It had support for SMS, chat, audio/video calls, the whole nine yards.

As tools like Slack and Zoom become more dynamic. and functional, Hangouts as we originally knew it faded out to obscurity, and it was all but shut down some months ago from press time. Out from its ashes, though, come Google Meet, a premium video conferencing tool that’s baked into Google’s vast digital ecosystem. It pairs well with the all-new Hangouts Chat, a Slack-like team communication experience that is also baked into other Google apps.

Recently, Google made some of these features from either app available in Gmail, as part of the total G Suite experience. Francesco D’Alessio from the Keep Productive YouTube channel broke it all down nicely in his video, embedded below.

Google Meet: Plans, pricing, and features

Google Meet is available for free (non-G Suite users) as well as for those who bought the G Suite Essentials and Enterprise Essentials.

Consistent across all three plans are live closed-captioning, screen sharing, adjustable layouts, and a bunch more. G Suite users obviously get bigger participation and video call length. All plans get an unlimited number of meetings.

Here’s the official pricing matrix from Google.

What Is Google Meet? Everything You Need To Know About Google's Video Conferencing Tool
Google Meet’s plans and pricing.

Google Meet’s plans and pricing are as follows:

  • Free for non-G Suite Users
  • G Suite Essentials starting at $10/user/month
  • G Suite Enterprise Essentials starting at $20/user/month

To start using Google Meet, click here.