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Google’s “Zoom Killer” Adds New Video Conferencing Features

This week, Google announced new features coming to its video conferencing service, Google Meet.

Meet has seen an increase in users since COVID-19 has made video conferencing a part of the “new normal.” The service is available for free to all enterprise G Suite customers, as well as anyone with a Google account. It competes directly with Zoom, another enterprise video conferencing service that has risen in popularity.

Many of the new Meet features already existed within Zoom and will be coming to Google Meet. Among them…

  • Jamboard: Google Meet will be adding an integration to Jamboard, an interactive collaboration whiteboard, later this year.
  • Backgrounds and blurring: Google Meet users can now use an image as a custom background, or opt to blur it.
  • Layout improvements: Users can now see up to 16 participants while a user is sharing their screen, while also planning to add up to 49 people in view per call.
  • Hand raising: Meeting administrators can enable hand raising, which is ideal for larger meetings.
  • Meeting attendance: Administrators will also be able to see who attended a meeting.
  • Advanced administrator tools: Meeting hosts will now have more advanced controls when it comes to muting users and users joining or joining a meeting.
  • Q&A: Attendees can now submit questions on a dedicated panel during a call, which can be answered as the conference happens.
  • Polling: Attendees can answer polls and submit other data.
  • Breakout rooms: Users can split larger meetings into smaller groups, to have discussions during a larger call.
  • Breakout rooms: Make it easy for large meetings to split into smaller groups, have parallel discussions, and reconvene once finished. 
  • Q&A: Provide a channel for the audience to ask questions without disrupting the flow of the conversation.

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