Sick of having tons of meetings but never getting anything done? Zoom fatigue is a problem and the videoconference tool plays a big part in it.
In this article, we compare Google Meet vs. Zoom, two of the biggest videoconference tools.
Google Meet is browser-based and can live in any web browser. Zoom is software-based and supports:
- iOS/iPad OS
There is a workaround to have a Zoom meeting in your browser, like Google Meet, even though the features are limited.
Both have a mobile app.
Both tools let you send group messages during a video call. Messaging can be a great way for attendees to ask questions while someone is speaking.
You can also use the message feature to send links and other information to people on the call. Then, people can copy and paste the link or text into their browser.
Messages are available on the desktop and mobile versions of both Google Meet and Zoom. Meeting hosts can also adjust message settings to provide a safe space for everyone.
Yet, only Zoom allows sending messages to individuals people in the meeting.
Sharing your screen is another important feature to have when conducting virtual meetings. Zoom and Google Meet allow you to share your screen with others in the meeting.
You can share your screen for a presentation, a video or some other page. Meeting hosts can also disable screen sharing capabilities on both platforms.
Recording & transcribing meetings
If you want to make sure everyone can watch the meeting, you can record your calls. Zoom and Google Meet allow hosts and participants to record the video and audio.
Zoom also provides audio-to-text transcripts of the meeting. Google Meet doesn't by default but using Chrome extensions, there are ways to do it.
Zoom is working hard to offer many integrations to have more productive meetings. Upcoming Zoom integrations include Trello, Slack, and Miro.
It is one of the most significant ways Google Meet and Zoom differ.
On the free plan, both can support up to 100 participants.
On paid plans, Google Meet can support up to 250 people. With Zoom, you can get the Large Meetings add-on to increase capacity to 1,000 participants.
If you will meet one-on-one or with small groups, both platforms can work well for you. But if you want the option to host a very large event, Zoom will be a better fit.
Both Google Meet and Zoom limit the length of time meetings can last on their free plans.
Google Meet limits free one-on-one meetings to 24 hours at a time. Group meetings with at least three participants can only go for 1 hour
Zoom doesn't limit free one-on-one meetings but limits group meetings to 40 minutes.
The free meeting time limits can be restrictive and are worth considering.
Google Meet offers a minimalist and clean user interface. Zoom's user interface is also straightforward, with not a ton of added features in the app. Each platform provides additional benefits for its users to make their experiences more seamless.
Captions and transcripts
Google offers a real-time captions button so users can see a transcription of every word that's being said during the meeting.
At this time, you can use captions for English worldwide. If you're in the European or Asia Pacific regions, you can have captions in:
- Spanish (Mexico)
- Spanish (Spain)
- Portuguese (Brazil)
Keep in mind if you record the video call that the captions will not appear on the recorded video. Read more on How to record a Zoom meeting. Press the button during a video call to turn on the captions feature and select your language. There also is a profanity filter.
Zoom also offers a close-caption or transcription feature. This can be provided through:
- Manual captioning by a host or meeting attendee
- Zoom's live transcription feature
- Integrated third-party close captioning service
There are limitations with Zoom's transcription service. It only supports English and isn't always accurate. The volume of the speaker's voice, background noise, and various dialects can affect the accuracy.
If you need accurate captions for accessibility or other needs, Google Meet is a better fit.
Low light mode
Low light mode is currently only available on the Google Meet app for iOS and Android devices. The app will automatically detect the amount of lighting mobile users have, enabling users to turn on low light mode within five seconds of joining a call.
For Zoom, users have to go into their settings to enable their video to adjust for low light. You can set it to:
- Auto - Zoom will automatically adjust the lighting
- Manual - Users need to adjust the low-light setting until they're satisfied
Zoom users can adjust their settings on mobile devices or the desktop app.
Google Meet allows users to change their backgrounds before or during a video call. You can blur your background or upload your own image for your background. Click on your image of yourself when you're in a meeting to change your background.
With Zoom, you can add an image or video as your background. To change your background, you'll need to go into your account settings to choose from one of Zoom's pre-uploaded images or to select your own. If you're an administrator on a group account, you can change the background of all members in a group.
Google Meet makes it easier for users to change their background by being able to do so from within the meeting. Zoom adds in an extra step with participants having to go into their settings, but allows more options and control.
It's important to note that the hand raise feature is only available in certain Google Workspace editions, like Education Fundamentals and G Suite Business. Whether you're using Google Meet for distance learning or a work meeting, participants can easily raise their hand when they have a question. Either the moderator or the participant can lower their hand once their question has been addressed.
In the latest versions of Zoom, participants can raise or lower their hands under the "reactions" feature. Hosts will get notifications that someone has raised their hands and can unmute their mic when it's time for them to speak. However, meeting hosts can disable this feature.
Both Google Meet and Zoom have emoji reactions. In Google Meet, participants are able to set the skin tone of their emojis. Administrators can control what emojis participants can choose from.
In the desktop version of Zoom, participants can also select the skin tone of their emojis. The emojis will disappear after 10 seconds
With both Google Meet and Zoom, meeting moderators and hosts can disable the emoji feature. All non-verbal feedback can be removed by the host or participant.
While general features are important when comparing Zoom vs. Google Meet, security features are also vital.
Fortunately, Google and Zoom have taken extra steps recently to secure your video calls.
Zoom and Google Meet use encryption to protect your video calls. Encryption requires a digital security key to read or view the information you encrypt.
By encrypting your calls, you can speak with your clients or teammates about confidential matters.
Password or code
Zoom lets you create a password when you set up a meeting. It also gives you a unique meeting number to differentiate your meeting from other meetings.
With Google Meet, hosts can get a 10-digit meeting code that you can use to restrict access. You can give the password or code to people who you allow to join.
That way, you can keep random people from getting into the meeting. If someone happens to share the meeting information with an unauthorized participant, that participant won't be able to get in.
While you can start meetings without a password or code, you can make your meeting more vulnerable. Even a simple password with Zoom can be enough to restrict access.
Zoom and Google Meet also let you restrict when people can join the meeting. With Zoom, you can use a waiting room to hold people before you let them in. People can go into the waiting room, and you can let in the people you want.
Google Meet lets you restrict how early guests can join a meeting, so no one can join more than 15 minutes before the start time. You can make sure to be available a bit before the meeting starts to let people in.
Restricting when people can join is useful when you have private, back-to-back meetings. You can use the same meeting room on Zoom, for example, and you can use a waiting room for early arrivals.
Another excellent security feature of Google Meet is that all participants must have a Google account. Not only can this restrict who can join your meeting, but you can verify each participant.
While it can seem annoying to require an account, you can use the requirement to protect yourself.
Zoom doesn't require you have an account to join a meeting, but you do need an account to host one. However, you can only allow participants with a specific email domain.
That can be useful when you want to have a team meeting since you can block people from outside of your organization.
Video and audio settings
Both Google Meet and Zoom let you set a meeting so that participants join without using their video cameras. If you will have a lot of participants, this can help you control who can see what.
You can also automatically mute participants as the host. Muting audio and turning off cameras can help you take control of the meeting to avoid wasting time.
While both platforms offer similar pricing, there are some differences.
The free Google Meet plan limits participants to 100, and group meetings can't go past an hour. However, you can have as many meetings as you need.
People can join from a browser, invite external participants, and adjust the layout. If you need to share your screen, you can also do this with a free account.
Zoom lets free calls host up to 100 people, but they limit the time to 40 minutes. However, you can have unlimited meetings with one other person, so it's suitable for many uses.
Both Google Meet and Zoom are two of the best free video conferencing apps. Google Meet is great if you use G Suite, and Zoom is excellent no matter what other tools you use.
You can get a paid Google Meet plan as part of Google Workspace. A Google Workspace Essentials plan starts at $8 per month per user, and it allows meetings with up to 150 participants that last for 24 hours.
Larger companies can also get Google Workspace Enterprise, which allows for up to 250 participants per meeting. Both paid plans offer features such as meeting recordings and breakout rooms.
With Zoom, you can choose from many different video and audio products. Paid video plans start at around $15 per month per license. You can then host group meetings for longer than 40 minutes, and you can record meetings.
A paid plan also lets you access other paid upgrades, such as the Large Meetings add-on and cloud storage. That way, you can manage all of your video calls.
Pros and Cons of Google Meet
- Browser access
- Free plan
- Requires Google account for others to access
- Google integrations
- Browser extensions
- Few integrations
- Limited for large meetings
Pros and Cons of Zoom
- Free option
- Many integrations
- Compatible with any platforms
- Great for large meetings
- 40min annoying limit on the free plan
- Software to download
We've reviewed in-depth each tool and we actually love both. However, if you're a small organisation with <20 staff, Google Meet is our #1 choice.
For larger organisations, Zoom is best.
Do you need help making your meetings better? Learn how we can help today.