Even with limits on time, members and options, the free version of Google Meet nonetheless makes a compelling selection for video conferencing

Screenshot of meet.google.com for the free version of Google Meet, with three options display (Create meeting for later, Start an instant meeting, Schedule in Google Calendar)

In contrast with Google Meet in paid Google Workspace editions, the free version of Google Meet lacks options. It omits recording capabilities and limits you to conferences of as much as 100 those that final not more than 60 minutes. With the paid variations, you’ll be able to host bigger conferences (as much as 250 individuals) that last more (as much as 24 hours), and you could report these conferences, as nicely. Paid editions additionally let individuals dial-in, conduct polls and use breakout rooms. 

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However I am unsure that every one of these so-called limitations imply a lot. Here is a have a look at 5 of the important thing options and capabilities provided within the free model of Google Meet.

Time restrict: 60 minutes

Free Google Meet classes finish after 60 minutes, whereas paid ones might last as long as 24 hours. In my opinion, the 60-minute restrict is a profit, not a constraint. Far too many conferences final too lengthy.

Want to satisfy longer? Schedule a number of further hour-long calendar events. For instance, if you really want a three-hour assembly, you’d schedule it as three separate calendar gadgets. Invite the identical set of individuals to every session. When one assembly ends, observe the Google Meet hyperlink to proceed within the subsequent phase.

Favor that individuals not discover you are utilizing the free model? Choose the Speedy meetings option in Google Calendar to shorten the default size of calendar occasions (Determine A). An ordinary 30-minute assembly phase will get scheduled as a 25-minute one, and a 60-minute session will get scheduled for less than 50 minutes. That 50 minute time is definitely throughout the restrict of the 60-minute most for the Google Meet free model. Respect your assembly members’ time, and finish your session promptly.

Determine A

Screenshot of Google Calendar | Settings | Event settings | Speedy meetings selected, to make the default 50 minutes instead of 60 minutes.

In Google Calendar Settings, allow Speedy conferences to shorten the default length of calendar occasions.

One other various is to satisfy for shorter classes, extra typically. Use Google Calendar’s repeat meeting settings (Determine B) to create calendar occasions that recur every day, month-to-month, yearly or on a customized schedule. (I additionally recommend you connect a Google Doc to the calendar occasion. Give members enhancing permission, so everybody might edit assembly dialogue gadgets.)

Determine B

Screenshot of Google Calendar event, which shows repeat options: Does not repeat, Daily, Weekly on Thursday, Monthly on the third Thursday, Annually on July 15, Every weekday (Monday to Friday), and Custom.

As an alternative of occasional lengthy conferences, schedule shorter conferences that repeat periodically.

No recording: Lively consideration

Because the free version of Google Meet lacks recording, that signifies that members want to concentrate. They must deal with the dialogue. OK, let me repeat that for these of you who had been glancing at your telephone or checking e mail through the assembly. I stated: There isn’t any recording. It is advisable to course of what individuals say. Now. Within the current. Should you’re actually in an energetic assembly, that is precisely the way you need issues to work. 

(Must make a recording? See four should have instruments for creating video with a cellular machine or Learn how to report your browser window in Chrome, then add your video to Google Drive or YouTube and share it.)

Participant restrict: 100

In my expertise, when greater than a dozen or so individuals collect, there’s near zero likelihood that each single individual concerned speaks for a significant period of time. Relying on the context, you may name such a gathering a chat, a lecture, a presentation, a sermon or a monologue. The 100-person restrict (Determine C) actually is not a difficulty for conferences with energetic members. If you must concurrently converse to various individuals, you are not likely internet hosting a gathering—you are broadcasting. And that type of broadcast may as nicely be pre-recorded after which shared for individuals to view.

Determine C

Screenshot of a Google Calendar event, with a Meet session added. Arrow points at text that reads

The free model of Google Meet permits as much as 100 members.

Current: Tab, window or display

Presenting works the identical within the free version of Google Meet because it does within the paid editions. From Google Meet in a browser on a pc, you could have the choice to current content material from a browser tab (finest for video), a specific window (e.g., to demo an app), or your complete display (Determine D).

Determine D

Screenshot that shows the present icon active, with a menu of the three options: A tab (best for video and animation), A window, and Your entire screen.

Current a tab, a window or your complete display from the free version of Google Meet.


Moreover, the free version of Google Meet contains whiteboarding, identical to the paid editions (Determine E). You might both choose a beforehand saved whiteboard or create a brand new one that’s shared with everybody within the session. Illustrate your concepts, write key phrases, or add typed notes or pictures to your board. (Should you’re acquainted with Google’s Jamboard {hardware} and software program, that is primarily entry to that app inside Meet.)

Determine E

Screenshot of Google Meet with the Whiteboarding option screen displayed, with two options: Start a new whiteboard (top button), or Choose from Drive (bottom button).

Collaborate on a Jamboard drawing with everybody in your Meet session.

What’s your expertise?

Do you utilize the free or paid model of Google Meet? How typically do you discover any of the constraints a difficulty? How typically do you pursue different methods to collaborate (e.g., Gmail, Google Chat or a shared Doc) as a substitute of assembly? Should you use a paid model of Google Workspace, which expanded Meet options do you depend on most frequently? Let me know what your expertise with Google Meet has been, both within the feedback beneath or on Twitter (@awolber). 

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