We're faced with so many technological choices these days, including which video calling service to use. It's so easy to get overwhelmed by the endless options, and it can be difficult to make an informed decision. For some businesses, the choice comes down to Google Meet or Google Hangouts. While these two platforms share a lot of similarities, there are a few key differences that are especially worth noting, and which will help you determine which one is best for your needs.
Overview of Videoconferencing
Videoconferencing is a type of teleconferencing that utilizes video technology to connect people in a virtual meeting space. The technology has advanced over the years, and the quality of communication has greatly improved as a result. Today, it's possible to have high-definition video calls with excellent audio quality, thanks to advances in compression technology.
Google's Video Services
When it comes to video conferencing, Google has made some great strides in recent years. Their most recent offering is Google Meet. While most people have probably heard of Google Hangouts, it is now considered to be a legacy platform. With Google Meet, Google aims to bring video meetings up to date with the features that their customers have been asking for. While the platform is still considered new, it has seen a lot of growth, and is likely to continue to rise in popularity as time goes on. Google's myriad of options in the video calling space can seem bewildering, from their consumer apps such as Duo, to their enterprise offerings like Google Meet and Hangouts. But, if you look closely, there are a lot of similarities between the various services, and their offerings are far more complementary than they are competitive.
Overview of Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts was first launched in 2013, as a chat platform for Gmail. The initial focus was on improving real-time communication between family and friends. Since then, it has grown into a comprehensive text and video conferencing tool that is well-loved by businesses. It has gradually been improving over the years, and has seen several new features added. But, the recent announcement of Google Meet means that Hangouts is no longer the newest and shiniest tool in Google's toolkit. The company is actively working to transition users from Google Hangouts to Google Meet, but that transition is sure to take some time. It will be interesting to see if the popularity of Hangouts stays strong as Google Meet gains ground, or if its users will migrate over to the newer platform. In any case, it is likely that Google Meet will have an impact on the popularity of Hangouts, one way or another.
New Kid On The Block: Google Meet
Google Meet is relatively new, and is still being improved on a regular basis. But, it has already gained a lot of ground in the enterprise space, and is likely to gain even more as time goes on. While Google Meet is still very similar to Hangouts in many ways, it brings some important new features that are hard to ignore. The platform has a simple and easy-to-use interface, that makes it great for users of all levels of experience. It also offers some excellent features for meetings, such as AI-powered background noise reduction, and high quality video compression. And, its tight integration with Gmail makes it an excellent choice for businesses who are heavy Google Apps users.
Benefits of Google Meet over Hangouts
Google Meet is a great choice for those who are looking for a feature-rich and well-designed video conferencing solution. It it is especially great for businesses that have little experience using video conferencing platforms and desire something that works without native software downloads. Some of the key benefits of Google Meet include:
1. Google Apps Integration
One of the key features of Google Meet is its tight integration with Google Apps. If you use Google Apps, you will already be familiar with the platform, and will be able to get started using Meet without making any changes. The service is tightly woven into Gmail, and it's easy to schedule meetings and invite participants using the familiar interface.
2. Support for External Participants
Meet has support for external participants, from outside your company or team. You can easily invite participants outside your organization to join your Google Meet meeting. This is great for companies that need to collaborate with partners, vendors, or customers on a regular basis.
3. Max Number of Participants
Google Meet supports a maximum of 100 participants in a meeting, whereas Google Hangouts is limited to only 25. This is a big difference between the two platforms, especially for large teams that need to regularly hold meetings with a large number of participants.
4. Waiting Room
Google Meet has a waiting room feature, which makes it easy to communicate with other participants before the meeting starts. In this way, you can greet your attendees, answer any questions, and get the conversation started without having to skip a beat.
5. Video Quality
Another key difference between Google Meet and Google Hangouts is in the video quality. Google Meet has a better quality video encoding algorithm, which means that it is less likely to lose video quality during a call, and the images will be sharper and more vivid. The platform also has excellent low-light performance, and an equalizer feature that automatically adjusts the audio settings to provide the best experience for everyone on the call.
6. Interface Differences
Google Meet has a newer interface than Hangouts, leveraging design improvements that Google has made to other applications. The company has created a more modern and streamlined interface, which is both attractive and easy to use. Its clean, minimalist look helps keep the focus on the content of the call, rather than on unnecessary distractions. Both Google Meet and Hangouts offer full functionality without requiring native software downloads, a big benefit over some of the competing solutions in the industry.
7. Recording Meetings
One of the best features that Google Meet offers is the ability to record your meetings, and automatically save them in Google Drive. This is great for businesses that may need to review the meeting at a later date, or wish to be able to refer back to the conversation later on. Calls and meetings in Google Meet can also easily be processed, transcribed, and summarized using Hyperia. This helps make your conversation much more accessible by transforming the recorded content into a plain language summary, and then storing it in a shared knowledge base that everyone on your team can access.
8. Support for Dial-in Participants
Google Meet supports participants who need to dial into the meeting, rather than join it from a desktop computer. This is especially helpful for participants who are less familiar with video conferencing solutions, or do not have access to an Internet-connected device.
9. Integrations and Plugins
Another important feature that Google Meet has over Hangouts is its integration with other tools and applications. Many third party products and services have been integrated with Google Meet, for automating tasks, recording and transcribing, and more. These integrations allow you to enhance your meetings in all kinds of ways, and make them even more useful.
10. Other Features
Google Meet offers a number of other useful features. The platform is well integrated with Google Calendar, so you can easily schedule meetings from within the same interface that you use to schedule events. The AI background noise and echo cancellation features are particularly useful, as they make it easier to focus on the conversation itself, rather than on extraneous distractions.
How They Compare In Price
Google Meet and Google Hangouts both have free offerings, which makes them great choices for small businesses and startups that need to hold regular meetings but don't have a lot of resources. Premium Google Meet features are offered as part of their Google Workspace offering, which at the time of writing this article, is available starting at $8/user/month.
Enhancing Recorded Calls & Meetings
Often recordings of calls and meetings, even if stored in a Google Drive, sit unused. That is because they lack context and are a bit of a burden to go through. This is where AI call and meeting capture can help. We use our proprietary AI technology to listen to and transcribe your recorded calls and meetings, then summarise them into plain language for your team. This makes the recorded content more accessible and easier to review. Hyperia’s summaries are also stored in a shared knowledge base, accessible to your team, which makes them easy to review and add to.
There are a lot of similarities between Google Meet and Google Hangouts. Both platforms offer an easy to use video conferencing solution that is great for businesses of all sizes. But, there are a few key differences between the two platforms that you should be aware of before deciding which one is best for your needs. Most companies are now choosing to go with Google Meet due to its heavy promotion by Google, and its tight integration with the rest of the Google Apps suite. But, with support for external participants, maximum capacity of 100 participants, and waiting room feature, Google Meet is sure to gain even more ground as time goes on.