Google Meet adding blurred backgrounds, images, and other new features

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Google Meet 1
Google Meet's new features will help it to better take on Zoom.
Photo: Google Meet

Thanks to people working from home and coronavirus lockdown, 2020 has been the year of videoconferencing apps — and Google Meet is adding a few new features to try and take on rival Zoom.

According to a new report from 9to5Google, Google Meet is working on new features that will allow users to add images or blur the background of their video calls. This is a feature that already exists for Zoom and Skype users, although this will be the first time it’s available on Google meet.

The Verge notes that, in addition, Google is adding low-light mode and a hand-raising feature. There will also be new moderator tools, real-time Q&A, tools for assessing meeting attendance, and more. There’s no word on when the new features will be officially introduced. However, Google is supposedly already showing them off for its customers in the enterprise and education markets.

Google Meet is the business-focused version of Google Hangouts. It supports up to 100 callers with no time limits on conversations. To try and boost support for Google Meet, Google announced in April that Google meet was going free to all users through September 30. You can check out more information about Google Meet here.

At present, Zoom lords it over other videoconferencing apps. A report from earlier this year suggested that Zoom usage has surged up to 700% in certain places during lockdown. Will the addition of these new tools help Google to catch up, or even overtake, Zoom? We’ll have to wait and see. It’s definitely a useful addition for anyone who regularly uses videoconferencing, however.