As you already know, Google Workspace offers a broad set of tools to help businesses and teams. Google Hangouts is an example of a communication tool included in its plans. But for some reason, companies are opting for third-party tools to make their video meetings, even though Hangouts is included on their G Suite plan.
At the beginning of 2020, Googles started rebranding Google Hangouts Meet on Google Workspace to Google Meet, focusing more on the business world. Besides, now Google is offering integrations to their other business apps, such as Gmail and Chat, to make it easier for teams to communicate.
In this guide, you are going to learn how to use Google Meet properly so that you can set online meetings with your teammates.
What is Google Meet
Google Hangouts Meet, Google Meet, or just Meet —while the rebranding is not settled, you are going to hear about all these names — is a video conferencing software.
The Google Workspace version offers additional features, while the consumer version — still called Hangouts — doesn’t. Let’s explore the differences in each one of them.
Google Workspace Google Meet
With the Google Workspace version of Meet, there are different limits of participants on the same meeting, depending on your Google Workspace plan:
- 100 participants on the Basic plan;
- 150 participants on the Business plan;
- 250 participants on the Enterprise plan;
Moreover, on the Enterprise plan, it’s possible to reach up to 100,000 live stream viewers. Google Workspace users can head to meet.google.com right now to start a meeting or book them ahead of time using Hangouts Chat or Google Calendar.
Free video meetings can have a maximum number of 25 participants, and they can last until 1 hour. After this time exceeds, it’s necessary to create another session to continue using the service.
How to create a video conference in Google Meet
- First, log in to your Google Workspace account. Notice that if you only have a Gmail account, you will still be able to access Google Hangouts, but with limitations.
- Go to Google Meet’s website.
- Click on “Join or start a meeting”. You will need to enter the code or nickname of an existing meeting or starting your conference by leaving it blank or giving it a nickname. But don’t worry, this nickname will only be available inside your domain in Google Workspace.
Creating meeting through integrations
Google Meet now integrates with Google Chat, the Google Workspace communications tool for teams. When you are using Chat, you can simply start a call with someone in a direct conversation, or with the whole team in a room, just by clicking the Meet button — represented by the icon with a video camera — that appear on Reply or New Conversation boxes.
A video call is automatically created, and people can click on it to be sent to Meet. This process saves you time if you are using both apps because you don’t need to go to Meet’s site, create a meeting, and share the link. Just pressing one button makes your life a lot easier.
It’s also possible to start a new video meeting directly from Gmail. On the left side menu of your Gmail screen, you can find a section named “Meet”. Then you have two options: start a meeting or join a meeting. When you click the first button, it will send you automatically to a new video conference. Then you can copy the meeting link and send it to other participants or share the meeting code. The second button opens a popup where you can insert a meeting code previously provided to you.
How to share a video meeting
It’s possible to add people to a video meeting before or after it starts. If you start a video session from Gmail, you will only be able to add people after the meeting begins.
Notice that as soon as you enter the meeting that you create a popup containing the info, a link to copy this info, and a button to “Add People”.
Also, to invite people when the meeting already started, follow these steps:
- On the top right corner, click the two people symbol, then select “Add people”.
- Then enter the name or email address or choose and hit “Send invite”.
- Or click the “Call” tab, if you want the person to join by a call.
- Select the country you’re calling to, adding the country code to the call.
- Enter the person’s phone number and then click “Call”.
- The person will join the meeting when they answer the phone.
There’s also another way of sharing:
- In the bottom left corner, click the meeting name.
- Then click Copy joining info.
- Share the link of the meeting through emails or social media with the people you desire to.
A thorough look at Google Meet
To completely understand all Google Meet’s settings and features, let’s explore each one of them.
You can change the view of Google Meet according to your preferences. To change it, click the three dots in the lower-right corner of the screen, then select “Change layout”. A popup will open with four layout options:
- Auto: If you want that Meet chooses the layout for you.
- Sidebar: Only the active speaker or the presentation will be displayed on a larger window, while some of the participants will be on the left side, in smaller windows.
- Spotlight: The presentation, active speaker, or pinned feed will fill the entire window.
- Tiled: You will be able to see up to 16 people when no one is presenting. When you choose this option, you can hover the windows to see the participant names. And if a Presentation starts, it will appear in a large tile, and the most active participants will appear on the side in smaller tiles.
At a video conference, you can perform some actions: Pin, mute, or remove participants.
– To pin a participant, just click on their thumbnail image, then click the pin icon.
– To mute a participant’s microphone, because you hear some background noise, for example, it’s also possible. With meetings organized through a personal account, only the moderator will be able to mute participants. To mute someone, next to their thumbnail, point to “Volume” and choose “Mute”.
Note that it’s not possible to unmute another person. Therefore you need to ask the participants to unmute their audio when it’s required. If you want to mute and unmute yourself, just click the microphone icon at the bottom of the window.
– To remove a participant, it depends if you are using Meet from a Google Workspace account or a personal Google Account:
- Meetings organized with a Google Workspace account: In case it’s necessary, any participant from the domain that held the meeting can remove another participant.
- Meetings organized with personal Google accounts: The event creator is the only one who can remove another participant.
– If you have an education account, based on the fact that the teacher needs to have control of the video meeting, only the creator or event owner can perform any of these actions mentioned above.
During your meetings, you can send messages to the other participants, using your computer or any mobile device.
Notice that the messages will be visible to everyone in the call, and you can see only the chat messages exchanged during the time you are in the meeting. It means that you won’t be able to see messages before the moment you joined.
To open the chatbox, click the Chat button in the upper right corner. Then just enter the message and click the Send icon.
You can turn on captions during a video meeting to facilitate the understanding of what people are speaking. This feature transcribes the audio on a caption right above the video.
To turn the Captions on, just click “Turn on captions” at the bottom of the window. You can quickly turn them off, clicking the same button.
Phone for audio
It’s possible to use a phone for audio in video meetings, so you can talk and listen to the meeting using your phone while you can still see the video on your computer. There are two options to start this feature: Google Meet can call your phone, or you can dial in from your device.
It’s important to highlight some situations:
- If you’re not in the meeting yet, your computer will join only when your phone connects.
- If there are more than five people at the meeting, you will join with the mic muted.
- You will also join with the mic muted if your computer is muted before connecting.
On your computer, click More — represented by the three dots icon — on the left bottom of the window. Then choose the option “Use a Phone for audio”.
You can share your entire screen or a specific window in a meeting, what Google Meets calls “present”. While you present, you can share documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and all that is necessary for a great meeting.
To present during a meeting, follow these steps:
- Click the button “Present now”, located at the bottom-right corner of your screen.
- You can select to present your entire screen, a window, or just a Chrome tab.
- A pop-up will open with all the open tabs or windows you have in your navigator. Choose the one you want to present.
- Select Share.
- Sometimes another person is already presenting, so you need to confirm that you want to display instead.
You can click “Stop” on the top of the tab you are presenting, or go back to the Meet window and click “Stop Presenting”.
It’s possible to record video meetings for other people to watch later. The Record meeting resource is only available on the Google Workspace Enterprise plan or Google Workspace Enterprise for Education. To start using the recording feature, the administrator must enable it before the meeting. Only the meeting organizer or people in the same organization as the organizer can record video meetings. Also, teachers can register if they sign in to their account, but the Students can’t.
Recordings will include the active speakers and presentations during the meeting. So other windows or notifications won’t be covered.
Google will save all the recordings in the organizer’s Meet Recordings folder in My Drive. Also, an email will be sent with the recording link both to the organizer and who started the recording.
To start recording a meeting, follow these steps:
- On Google Meet’s screen, click More — represented by three dots — at the bottom right.
- Select “Record meeting”.
- Wait for the recording to start. The other participants will be notified when the record begins or stops.
- To stop recording it, click More again and then “stop recording”. The recording will also stop when all the participants leave the meeting.
- Wait for the recording file to be generated and saved to the meeting organizer’s My Drive > Meet Recordings folder. An email with the recording link is also sent to the meeting organizer and the person who started the recording.
Google Meet is an alternative that you should consider if you already have a Google Workspace plan, mainly because of its new integrations with Gmail and Google Chat. You can simply start meeting with just one click button, which optimizes your time and your processes.
Above all, we hope that now you are a Google Meet expert and that you have understood this tool entirely. Enjoy all our tips and share with your team so everyone can learn how to use it better at the meetings
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