The best way to profit from free Google Meet options


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

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 individuals) that last more (as much as 24 hours), and you might report these conferences, as nicely. Paid editions additionally let individuals dial-in, conduct polls and use breakout rooms. 

However I am unsure that each 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 classes finish after 60 minutes, whereas paid ones could last as long as 24 hours. For my part, 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 extra hour-long calendar events. For instance, if you actually need 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, comply with the Google Meet hyperlink to proceed within the subsequent phase.

Choose 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). A typical 30-minute assembly phase will get scheduled as a 25-minute one, and a 60-minute session will get scheduled for under 50 minutes. That fifty minute time is well throughout the restrict of the 60-minute most for the Google Meet free model. Respect your assembly contributors’ time, and finish your session promptly.

Determine A

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

One other different is to satisfy for shorter classes, extra typically. Use Google Calendar’s repeat meeting settings (Determine B) to create calendar occasions that recur day by day, month-to-month, yearly or on a customized schedule. (I additionally counsel you attach a Google Doc to the calendar occasion. Give contributors modifying permission, so everybody could 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: Energetic consideration

Because the free version of Google Meet lacks recording, that implies that contributors want to concentrate. They should concentrate on the dialogue. OK, let me repeat that for these of you who had been glancing at your telephone or checking electronic mail through the assembly. I stated: There is not any recording. It’s good to course of what individuals say. Now. Within the current. For those who’re actually in an energetic assembly, that is precisely the way you need issues to work. 

(Must make a recording? See 4 must have tools for creating video with a mobile device or How to record 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 probability that each single individual 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 energetic contributors. If you want to concurrently communicate to quite a lot of individuals, you are not likely internet hosting a gathering—you are broadcasting. And that form of broadcast would possibly 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 contributors.

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 might have the choice to present content from a browser tab (greatest for video), a specific window (e.g., to demo an app), or your total 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 total display from the free version of Google Meet.


Moreover, the free version of Google Meet contains whiteboarding, similar to the paid editions (Determine E). You could 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. (For those who’re aware of 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 typically do you discover any of the restrictions a problem? How typically do you pursue different methods to collaborate (e.g., Gmail, Google Chat or a shared Doc) as a substitute of assembly? For those who 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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