Google has been revamping Meet extensively to meet the growing demands of today’s world due to the ongoing pandemic. The company first increased the number of participants that were allowed in a single meeting, then changed the design of their service and even added the ability to attend meetings if you were on a low bandwidth network. While all these features were great, there was one missing from this list and that was the ability to add virtual backgrounds to your video feed. So, has Google changed this?
Does Google Meet allow you to add virtual backgrounds to your video feed?
Unfortunately no, Google Meet still doesn’t officially allow you to add virtual backgrounds to your video feed. But wait, all is not lost.
The feature has been requested by users numerous times and there is even a feature request on the official Google support page that has gotten thousands of upvotes. As of July 2nd, 2020, Google’s upcoming releases roadmap states that the feature is in development and should be released in the coming feature updates to Meet. Sadly, this has been the case for over a month now.
Is there any way to add virtual backgrounds to Google Meet?
Yes, there is an unofficial Chrome extension that allows you to add a virtual background in your video feed on Google Meet. Although not the ideal solution, it works for now and if your company or organization is exclusively using Google Meet then this extension is the only choice you have.
Unfortunately, the extension does not have great reviews nor does it perform very well. The edges of your image will be choppy but this is all users have to work with for now. Once Google drops the ability to add a virtual background to your video feed natively, you can switch over to that.
How to use a Chrome Extension to add virtual background too Google Meet?
Open Chrome on your desktop PC and visit this link. Click on ‘Add to Chrome‘ to install the extension on your browser.
Confirm your selection by clicking on ‘Add Extension‘ in the dialog box that appears.
Once the extension is installed, click on its icon in the top right corner of your browser and turn on the toggle for ‘Use Virtual Backgrounds‘.
Now select your desired background from the list below the toggle.
Once you are done, visit Google Meet, and start a meeting. The virtual background should get automatically applied to your video feed.
You should now have a working virtual background in all your Google Meet meetings.
What does Zoom offer?
In case you can switch services then Zoom is a great alternative to Google Meet. Zoom gives you the ability to pair up to 100 people for 40 mins with a free account and if you pay for one, you can get up to 500 people in a single meeting! Not only this, you get the ability to natively use virtual backgrounds in your meetings which works much better than Meet’s 3rd party extension. Zoom also offers mobile apps that make it easier for your participants to join in on meetings remotely.
While Zoom was plagued with privacy issues during its initial days, the service has been revamped since the 5.0 update which introduces better security and new features. If your organization isn’t exclusively relying on Google Meet for meetings then you should consider switching over to Zoom. It was one of the first serviced to offer the ability to add a virtual background to your video feed.
Is Microsoft Teams a better alternative?
Yes, Microsoft Teams is another very good alternative to Google Meet. It wins by a huge margin in the integration department with third-party apps. Microsoft Teams supports various services like Hubspot, Slack, Trello, Asana, and more. This gives you the advantage of linking your existing project management system to Microsoft Teams to get the most out of your workflow.
Microsoft Teams gives you the ability to create new tasks and exchange files with your peers which is an exceptional advantage for offices that rely on the exchange of files in their workflow. It also supports virtual backgrounds and can add up to 250 participants to a single video call.
When can you expect the ability to add virtual backgrounds in Google Meet?
Google has been teasing this feature for quite a while now, and while it may seem in the works, Google could have encountered a potential issue that could be delaying the release of this feature. Since Virtual backgrounds as a feature have been in development with Meet, the service has released a few feature updates. While these updates added a lot of functionality and new features to the existing service, virtual backgrounds were always missing from them.
This is why many people that were guesstimating the time frame for the release of virtual backgrounds have given up. You can follow along with Google Meet at their official support page where you can track the progress of the feature on your own. As to when and how virtual backgrounds will come to Google Meet, only time will tell.
We hope this guide helped you learn everything you needed to know about virtual backgrounds in Google Meet. If you have any more questions for us, feel free to reach out using the comments section below.