Google Meet Video Conferencing Gets A Zoom-Like Makeover With A Powerful New Feature
Due to COVID-19, work and school from home requirements have made video conferencing services critical. The top contenders, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Facebook Messenger Rooms and Google Meet, have their pros and cons, making each viable for different reasons. Google Meet, however, is now beginning to compete head-to-head with Zoom with the latest update. The update, which will be rolling out from October 30th onward, finally brings background replacement to the platform.
Background replacement is a handy feature that might up your game, depending on the environment you're calling from, and it is finally coming to Google Meet. Google explains that “You can either use Google’s hand-picked images, which include office spaces, landscapes, and abstract backgrounds or upload your own image.” Hiding your surroundings by replacing your background can eliminate pesky background interruptions, so people in your call aren’t distracted.
You can pair background replacement with the recently added background noise reduction. Google says this feature can “intelligently filter out background noise like keyboard typing, doors opening and closing, and construction outside your window,” all using cloud-based-AI. Putting both features together should provide a great meeting experience without distractions. It should be noted that Zoom has had these features since late 2019, but it is great Google is finally joining the party.
Once the background replacement feature fully launches, administrators may be concerned, especially in education. Google reports that at launch, there will be no administrator controls for the background replacement. However, this will change later in the year with an update that will allow admins to “select which organizational units can use custom and preset backgrounds for meetings they organize.” This feature will also be turned off by default, so if settings are locked down, hopefully, users (such as students) who should not have access to settings will not change the background replacement settings.
With the rise in video calls for work and school, too many people have seen too many weird things happening in peoples’ homes. Google’s new background replacement functionality makes this a problem of the past for Google Meet users, hopefully. Fingers crossed that no one uploads any malicious backgrounds to “troll” other people in meetings. If you want to get your hands on this functionality, take a look at what release track your domain is on with Google, as it could take until November 6th for this up to reach a computer near you.