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How you can profit from free Google Meet options



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

Screenshot of 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 possibly can host bigger conferences (as much as 250 folks) that last more (as much as 24 hours), and chances are you’ll report these conferences, as effectively. Paid editions additionally let folks dial-in, conduct polls and use breakout rooms. 

However I am undecided that every one of these so-called limitations imply a lot. This is a take a look at 5 of the important thing options and capabilities supplied within the free model of Google Meet.

Time restrict: 60 minutes

Free Google Meet periods 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 fulfill longer? Schedule a number of extra hour-long calendar occasions. For instance, if you really want a three-hour assembly, you’d schedule it as three separate calendar objects. Invite the identical set of individuals to every session. When one assembly ends, comply with the Google Meet hyperlink to proceed within the subsequent section.

Desire that individuals not discover you are utilizing the free model? Choose the Speedy conferences choice in Google Calendar to shorten the default size of calendar occasions (Determine A). A regular 30-minute assembly section will get scheduled as a 25-minute one, and a 60-minute session will get scheduled for less than 50 minutes. That fifty 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 fulfill for shorter periods, extra usually. Use Google Calendar’s repeat assembly settings (Determine B) to create calendar occasions that recur every day, month-to-month, yearly or on a customized schedule. (I additionally counsel you connect a Google Doc to the calendar occasion. Give members modifying permission, so everybody might edit assembly dialogue objects.)

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 a substitute of occasional lengthy conferences, schedule shorter conferences that repeat periodically.

No recording: Energetic consideration

Because the free version of Google Meet lacks recording, that implies that members want to concentrate. They should give attention to the dialogue. OK, let me repeat that for these of you who have been glancing at your cellphone or checking e mail in the course of the assembly. I mentioned: There isn’t any recording. You want to course of what folks say. Now. Within the current. When you’re actually in an lively assembly, that is precisely the way you need issues to work. 

(Have to make a recording? See 4 should have instruments for creating video with a cell system or How you can 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 folks collect, there’s near zero likelihood that each single particular person concerned speaks for a significant period of time. Relying on the context, you would possibly 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 problem for conferences with lively members. If that you must concurrently converse to various folks, you are probably not internet hosting a gathering—you are broadcasting. And that form of broadcast would possibly as effectively be pre-recorded after which shared for folks 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 screen

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 may have the choice to current content material from a browser tab (greatest for video), a particular window (e.g., to demo an app), or your complete display screen (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 screen from the free version of Google Meet.


Moreover, the free version of Google Meet consists of 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. (When you’re acquainted with Google’s Jamboard {hardware} and software program, that is basically 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 usually do you discover any of the constraints a problem? How usually do you pursue different methods to collaborate (e.g., Gmail, Google Chat or a shared Doc) as an alternative of assembly? When 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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