With remote working gaining currency as the new norm, numerous web conferencing and meeting applications have come about. Google has not been left behind either and has a massive following on Google Meet and Google Hangouts. And therein lies the confusion; Google Meet vs Hangouts, is there a difference, or are they one and the same thing?
Both tools form part of the Web & Video Conferencing offerings available from Google. And yes, there are several differences between the two. In this article, we take a look at 10 of them. Keep it here to learn more about these tools to determine the most suitable one for your needs.
Is Google Meet the same as Google Hangout?
Google Meet vs Hangouts, what’s the difference? Meet is a top-quality video conferencing software offered by Google within Google Workspace – the former G Suite. It is a paid online video chat or meeting service available at meet.google.com for all Google Workspace users. You can conduct your meetings over voice or HD Video Call.
Hangouts, on the other hand, is an all-in-one voice call, instant messaging, and video conferencing software available for all Google users. So, if you have a Gmail account, then you can access the service. What’s more, it’s free.
But which one should you opt for? To answer this question, it’s important to understand that your choice will depend a lot on your type of organization, meeting style, and the features you deem necessary.
To help you make a more informed choice, we take an in-depth look at the two services. Below is a comparative look at Google Meet vs Hangouts highlighting each tool’s salient features:
1. Number of Allowable Participants
If you want to hold a meeting with video conferencing on Meet, you have a limit of up to 250 users. For additional participants, you’d need to utilize live streaming, which can support about 100,000 participants.
However, Hangouts is better suited for smaller meetings or personal use since it limits you to 150 chat participants. Furthermore, it doesn’t offer streaming and only supports video chats with 10 people.
2. External Meeting Participation
Google Meet allows external participants; hence you can invite people outside your organization to join in. You only need to email them an invitation link or share the meeting code. Hence, non-Google Workspace plus Gmail users can join a Google Meet meeting though only members can create new meetings.
The only way to participate in a Hangouts meeting is if you have a Gmail account. This is because Google Hangout is a part of your Gmail account. So, no Gmail account; no access to Google Hangouts.
3. Interface and User Experience
Google Meet boasts a sleek, intuitive, and user-friendly UI. Better yet, you can choose to view everyone on your screen, either in grid form or singly. But on Hangouts, you only view a single participant with the other video participants available on a smaller horizontal stripe.
4. Screen Sharing Options
While Google Hangouts allows you to share your full screen, Meet allows better sharing via a specific tab or window. The latter option comes optimized for video sharing, so you can even watch YouTube videos from your friend’s screen.
5. Internet Usage
Internet connectivity can be quite unreliable at times, but this is where Google Meets trumps over Hangouts. Meet allows you to join a meeting by typing in the meeting code without using the internet to dial in. With Hangouts, you need to have an internet connection to dial in the number to connect you to the meeting.
6. Recording Your Meetings
With remote working, meetings have moved online. Thus, the ability to save, record, and safely store meeting minutes for review later is vital. Google Meet allows you to schedule, record your meetings, and saves the recording to your preferred drive storage. However, this feature is not available on Hangouts, so you might want to use an online meeting assistant like Aira.
If any key participant fails to attend a meeting, they can always have the minutes sent to them to keep them up to date.
7. Auto Captioning
If your meetings involve foreign participants, language barriers might be a challenge. But with Google Meet’s live instant captioning, this is not an issue. You only need to activate auto-captioning to view a live transcription of what each meeting participant is saying.
Unfortunately, Google Hangouts doesn’t provide this feature as yet.
8. Price Difference
Google Meet vs Hangouts, which is more affordable? Pricing is a key determinant of the choice of software for most users. Fortunately, Google Hangouts is a free service, the only limitation being the number of meeting participants and users on active video.
Google Meet, on its part, is a paid software service packaged together with Google Workspace Suite. To use Meet for video conferencing, your organization needs to be on Google Workspace. Since the bundle integrates with email, it works out as a good deal overall.
9. Extra Integrations
Google Meet boasts several integrations with Google apps like Gmail and Google Calendar and third parties such as Zapier and Fireflies. But Hangouts doesn’t have such integrations on its platform.
10. Serving Different Needs
Hangouts and Meet help meet different needs. Hangouts is best-suited for casual calls between friends, while Meet is sophisticated and suitable for large group meetings. Also, its video web conferencing makes it excellent for businesses.
And there you have it. A detailed exploration into Google Meet vs Hangouts. So which option is the ideal one for you? You now have the details to make an informed decision at your fingertips.