Google is adding custom backgrounds for its Meet video conferencing, the company announced in a blog post. If you use Google Meet in Google’s Chrome browser, you should be prepared to access the feature in Chrome OS as well as on Windows and Mac laptops and desktops. The feature is “coming soon” to mobile, Google states.
There’s no browser extension required to activate custom backgrounds; you should be ready to add a background image from your photo collection or from a library of pictures given by Google that involves landscapes, abstract art, and for some reason offices.
It may get up to a week before all Google Meet users can obtain the new custom background option, the company states.
Competitive video conferencing services Microsoft Teams and Zoom both already support the use of custom images for meeting backgrounds.
The three have been combining new features as more extra users depend on video calls working and schooling from home during the pandemic; in recent months Meet added an option of a blur effect for meeting backgrounds, and introducing real-time captioning, low-light mode, hand-raising, and a tile view that displays up to 49 people.
Google combined Meet into Gmail in May, adding a sidebar link and making meetings of up to 100 people with no time limits available to anyone with a Google account.
In its third-quarter earnings call Thursday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told Meet had had 235 million daily meetings and more than 7.5 billion daily video calls.