Google Meet gaining custom backgrounds, new moderation controls and more

Google is testing new features for its video conferencing platform, Meet. The features will be available for enterprise and education customers, not general consumers.

Google Meet will soon let you use a custom background image or allow you to blur the background of your video, similar to what Zoom and Microsoft Teams do. The feature can be turned off by call moderators and a limited set of default backgrounds will be available.

More moderation controls will allow people to better control requests to join a meeting, with a “less intrusive” interface being added. Google will automatically block someone from “knocking” (requesting to join) when they are rejected twice. Anonymous participants will also be prevented from joining education meetings.

Participants will be able to raise their hand to draw attention or to ask a question. Polls and a dedicated Q&A channel will be added that will allow audiences to ask questions without disrupting and engage with real-time polls.

It’s not known when the features will launch, but it comes after Google released a 16-person view in Meet, so it’s clear they are working on making it a solid Zoom competitor with advanced features.

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Ben Ward
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