Much like its counterpart Zoom, which lets users add custom or preset backgrounds to their video calls, Google Meets announced custom backgrounds for its video conferencing platform through its official blog. The new feature hasn’t been made available for mobiles yet.
Coming soon to mobiles, the new virtual background feature from Google Meets is being made available on Google’s Chrome browser as well as on Windows and Mac laptops and desktops. Once you have access to a Chrome browser, you can either use Google’s hand-picked images, which include office spaces, landscapes, and abstract backgrounds or upload your own image and set it up during the call.
Apart from introducing this new feature, Google, in its blog also announced its recent changes in the Meets app, including- the ability to filter out disruptive background noise and blur your background during calls. In line with user needs, especially during work-from-home scenarios, these features are built with the motive of “reducing audio and visual distractions and ensuring more productive meetings.”
Virtual backgrounds work directly within your browser and do not require an extension or any additional software. At launch, they’ll work on ChromeOS and on the Chrome browser on Windows and Mac desktop devices. Support on Meet mobile apps will be coming soon, as stated by Google, and this will be announced on the Google Workspace Updates blog when available.
Talking about the sheer volume of calls and meetings that initiated these changes, Google CEO Sundar Pichai in the third-quarter earnings call on Thursday said Meet had had 235 million daily meetings and more than 7.5 billion daily video calls.
The latest feature has now been made available for Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Enterprise for Education, and Nonprofits customers and users with personal Google accounts.
To change the backgrounds on Google Meets, users are required to manually access a bottom right icon on the screen that signifies a background change and select your preference accordingly. Alternatively, to blur the background on your video meet At the bottom right, click More (three vertical dots) and click Turn on background blur.