Google just announced an exciting new set of live-sharing features, bringing interactive games like Kahoot, Heads Up! UNO, and Spotify, to its new, centralized video conferencing platform, Google Meet.
The features, designed to make meetings more interactive and fun, come a month after Google decided to merge its two video platforms, following its decision to finally phase out Google Duo.
Here's what to expect.
Google Meet's New Features
As part of merging Google Meet and Google Duo together, the video calling platform is getting upgraded. According to Google's blog, this will include granting all users easy access to schedule and join meetings instantly, apply virtual backgrounds and use in-meeting chat, as well as providing new interactive live sharing features.
The new suite of live-sharing features — which still includes polls and Q&A — will allow meetings to be more engaging, by adding fun ways for participants to interact with videos, songs and games.
“Whether you're co-watching videos on YouTube, curating a playlist on Spotify, taking turns while playing games like Heads Up!, UNO! Mobile or Kahoot! during an ice breaker, everyone will be able to join in on the action.” — Google
The new features will be available to all Google Meet users as soon as they update the app, and can be accessed by clicking on the three-dot menu bar, in the top right corner of the app, under the new Activities tab. Once there, users will be able to share an activity of their choice by clicking the activity icon and opting in to join a group session.
Some shared activities, like Spotify, will only be available to Spotify Premium customers, but most games and activities will be available to everyone in your team.
Is Google Meet Still Suitable for Business?
Google's latest updates are focused on social experiences, but that doesn't mean they're not applicable to business users. A fun game could come in clutch when you need a group ice breaker, and background music could aid focus if working on tasks together, while on a call.
Google's ability to schedule recurring meetings, apply real-time closed captions, facilitate in-meeting chat, and integrate with all the Google Suite apps, such as Google Calendar, Gmail and Google Assistant, make Google Meet a solid, professional web conferencing tool for US businesses.
Of course, it’s not the only one in the game. Zoho and GoToMeeting, while lesser-known, offer high quality call packages for businesses at affordable monthly rates, and even Zoom is a popular option for businesses looking for a cost-effective solution for video calling. You can see how these two front-runners compare in our Google Meet vs Zoom review.