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Zoom vs. Google Meet


Joanna Yuen

Marketing & Content Specialist - 26 Apr, 2024


As you’re no doubt aware, the COVID-19 pandemic changed many aspects of our lives forever. One trend that really took off and has shown no signs of slowing is the increase in remote work.

Statistics show us that right now, roughly 14% of all working adults work completely from home. Similarly, over 40% of adults work from home when they can, or take advantage of a hybrid work model. Projections show that one in five adults will work from home full-time by 2025 - and that doesn’t even account for various side-hustles, students, and people who also work and communicate online for other reasons.

With the increase in remote collaboration, we’ve seen new tools emerge and current technologies advance. Two of those virtual collaboration tools are Zoom and Google Meet. Just how do the two stack up? If you’re going to be connecting with others online, which platform is the best for you? In this post, we are exploring the merits of both online communication platforms and comparing the details that matter. To make a choice between Zoom and Google Meet, make sure to consider all of the information here.

The Rise of Online Meetings

In recent years, the popularity of online meetings has skyrocketed, transforming the way we communicate and collaborate. With advancements in technology and the need for remote work, virtual meeting platforms have become an integral part of our professional and personal lives.

Virtual meeting platforms have gained immense popularity due to their convenience, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. No longer bound by geographical constraints, individuals and organizations can connect from anywhere in the world, saving time and resources. The ease of scheduling and joining meetings with just a few clicks has made online meetings a preferred choice for many.

One of the most widely used virtual meeting platforms is Zoom. With its user-friendly interface and robust features, Zoom has become synonymous with online meetings. Its popularity rapidly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic when remote work became the new norm. Zoom offers a range of features, including video and audio conferencing, screen sharing, chat functionality, and recording capabilities. Other popular platforms include Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and Cisco Webex.

The popularity of virtual meeting platforms is evident from the staggering numbers. Zoom, for instance, reported a massive surge in daily meeting participants, reaching over 300 million in April 2020. Microsoft Teams also witnessed a significant increase in usage, with over 145 million daily active users in October 2021. These numbers reflect the widespread adoption and reliance on online meetings for communication and collaboration.

However, meeting online also presents its own set of challenges. One of the primary concerns is the lack of non-verbal cues and face-to-face interaction. In-person meetings allow for better understanding through body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice, which can be limited in virtual settings. This can lead to miscommunication or misunderstandings, requiring participants to be more attentive and clear in their communication.

Technical issues can also pose challenges during online meetings. Poor internet connections, audio glitches, or video lags can disrupt the flow of communication and hinder productivity. Participants may experience difficulties in joining or staying connected to the meeting, causing frustration and delays. It is essential to have a stable internet connection and use reliable hardware and software to ensure smooth online meetings.

Related Post: The 12 Best Video Conferencing Apps for Remote Meetings


Another challenge is maintaining engagement and focus during virtual meetings. With the ease of multitasking and the temptation to check emails or browse the internet, participants may be less attentive and engaged compared to in-person meetings. The absence of physical presence can also lead to a lack of accountability and participation from some individuals. To overcome these challenges, it is crucial to establish clear meeting objectives, set guidelines for participation, and use interactive tools to keep participants engaged.

Privacy and security concerns have also been raised with the rise of online meetings. Instances of unauthorized access to meetings, known as "Zoom bombings," have highlighted the need for enhanced security measures. Virtual meeting platforms have responded by implementing features such as password protection, waiting rooms, and encryption to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of meetings. It is essential for participants to be aware of these security measures and take necessary precautions when conducting online meetings.

At the end of the day, the rise of online meetings has revolutionized the way we communicate and collaborate. Virtual meeting platforms have become increasingly popular due to their convenience, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and Cisco Webex are among the most widely used platforms - with Zoom and Google Meet being the focus of this exploration. That being said, it’s important to remember that meeting online comes with its own set of challenges, including the lack of non-verbal cues, technical issues, maintaining engagement, and addressing privacy and security concerns. Many of these concerns are addressed by improved features and functionality, which we’ll cover in detail below. By being aware of these challenges and implementing best practices, individuals and organizations can effectively harness the power of online meetings for seamless communication and collaboration. Now let’s dive into two of the key platforms - Zoom and Google Meet.

What to Know about Zoom

Zoom is a popular video conferencing platform that allows users to hold online meetings, webinars, or other virtual events. Offering features such as video and audio conferencing, screen sharing, chat messaging, and recording capabilities, Zoom became especially popular during COVID. Once more people started working and attending school remotely, it became widely used by both individuals and businesses alike. Many people trust the tool for their online communication and collaboration purposes.

The top ten features of Zoom:

  1. High-quality video and audio: Zoom provides excellent video and audio quality, making meetings more immersive and engaging.
  2. Screen sharing: Users can easily share their screens during meetings, allowing for effective presentations and collaboration.
  3. Virtual backgrounds: Zoom allows users to set virtual backgrounds, which can be customized or chosen from a library of options.
  4. Breakout rooms: This feature enables meeting hosts to divide participants into smaller groups for focused discussions or activities.
  5. Recording and transcription: Zoom allows users to record meetings and provides automatic transcription, making it easier to review discussions later.
  6. Polls and surveys: Zoom offers built-in polling and survey features, allowing hosts to gather feedback and opinions from participants.
  7. Whiteboarding: Zoom's whiteboard feature enables real-time collaboration, allowing participants to draw, annotate, and brainstorm together.
  8. Integration with third-party apps: Zoom integrates with a variety of popular third-party apps, such as Slack and Google Drive, enhancing productivity and workflow.
  9. Meeting controls: Zoom provides comprehensive meeting controls, allowing hosts to manage participants, mute/unmute, and control access to features.
  10. Large meeting capacity: Zoom can accommodate a larger number of participants (up to 1,000 in the Enterprise plan), making it suitable for larger organizations.

Related Post: How to Manage Multiple Zoom Accounts


What to Know About Google Meet

Also a video conferencing platform, this option was developed by tech giant Google. It enables users to host and join online meetings, webinars, and other virtual events. Google Meet offers features such as high-definition video and audio conferencing, screen sharing, chat, and other functions which we’ll cover below. One of the best things about it is that it integrates seamlessly with other Google services such as Google Calendar or Gmail. This makes it convenient for Google-users to have more convenience in both scheduling or joining meetings. Most widely used by individuals or other institutions, like Zoom, it increased in popularity during COVID and is used for remote communication and collaboration.

The top ten features of Google Meet:

  1. Seamless integration with Google Workspace: Google Meet is tightly integrated with other Google Workspace apps, such as Gmail, Calendar, and Drive, providing a cohesive user experience.
  2. Real-time captions: Google Meet offers live captions during meetings, providing accessibility for participants with hearing impairments.
  3. Google Calendar integration: Users can easily schedule and join meetings directly from Google Calendar, streamlining the meeting management process.
  4. Screen sharing and collaboration: Like Zoom, Google Meet allows users to share their screens and collaborate in real-time during meetings.
  5. Live streaming: Google Meet allows users to live stream meetings to a larger audience, making it suitable for webinars or public events.
  6. Low-light mode: Google Meet's low-light mode automatically adjusts video settings to improve visibility in low-light conditions.
  7. Noise cancellation: Google Meet uses AI-powered noise cancellation to filter out background noise, ensuring clearer audio during meetings.
  8. Hand raising feature: Participants can use the hand raising feature to indicate that they have something to say or ask, promoting orderly discussions.
  9. Attendance tracking: Google Meet provides attendance tracking, allowing hosts to keep track of who attended the meeting.
  10. Security features: Google Meet offers strong security measures, including encryption, meeting locks, and the ability to admit participants individually.

Key Differences in the Zoom and Google Meet Platforms

You might be wondering “Well, what’s the difference?” between the two platforms. Does it really matter which tool you use to communicate with others or have meetings online? While Zoom and Google Meet both have the same main idea, there are a few key differences to note.

  1. Accessibility - Google Meet is more accessible for individuals with Google accounts, as it is integrated with Google Workspace apps like Gmail and Calendar. In fact, to host or schedule a meeting on Meet, you need to have an account. The process in general is much more seamless for Google users. Zoom, on the other hand, can be accessed by users regardless of their email provider (but you do need one to create a meeting).
  2. Meeting duration - Zoom offers more flexibility in meeting duration for free accounts. With a free Zoom account, you can host meetings up to 40 minutes long, while Google Meet limits free meetings to 60 minutes.
  3. Number of participants - The free versions of Zoom and Google Meet both allow up to 100 users. Google Meet's paid plans can accommodate up to 500 participants and have options for audiences up to 10,000. For groups larger than 100, you would need to invest in one of the premium plans for either option.
  4. Large meeting or webinar features - Zoom offers specific features designed for large meetings and webinars, such as the ability to have panelists, Q&A sessions, and attention tracking. Google Meet's focus is primarily on video conferencing and collaboration, with fewer specialized features for large-scale events. Google Meet is great for interacting with a work team or study group, for example, but is not as good for presenting information to others on a larger scale.
  5. Virtual backgrounds - While both platforms offer virtual backgrounds, Zoom provides more customization options and a larger library of virtual backgrounds to choose from. Google Meet's virtual background feature is more limited, allowing users to blur their background or choose from a few preset options.
  6. Integration with third-party apps - Zoom has a wider range of integrations with third-party apps, allowing users to connect and collaborate seamlessly with tools like Slack, Trello, and Dropbox. Google Meet integrates smoothly with other Google Workspace apps, making it convenient for users already utilizing Google's suite of productivity tools. If using other platforms simultaneously is part of your meeting, then you may want to explore Zoom’s integrations a bit more.
  7. Meeting recording options - Zoom provides built-in recording capabilities for both free and paid users, allowing you to save meetings to your local device or the cloud. Google Meet's recording feature is only available for paid Google Workspace users. Furthermore, recording only works on the computer version of Meet.
  8. Pricing structure - Anyone that has a Google account can schedule a meeting for up to 100 people for forty minutes for no cost at all. Zoom offers a variety of pricing plans, including a free option with limited features, as well as paid plans with more advanced functionalities. You can also take advantage of different tiers of Meet in Google Workspace, which has different pricing depending on the specific needs of the organization.

If you’re already a Google or Zoom account holder, then it’s easy to go ahead and schedule smaller meetings (under 100 people). However, if your meetings hold more people or you host webinar-style events, you’ll want to explore each option in-depth and see what makes sense. Consider your specific needs, number of users, budget, and recording requirements in order to make your decision. These differences in functionality can help users decide which platform aligns better with their specific requirements and preferences.

Related Post: Zoom vs Skype: Video Conferencing Software Showdown


Google Meet vs. Zoom in a Nutshell

That was quite a bit of content, and hopefully it was helpful to you! However, we’ll also break down a “too long, didn’t read” version that’s perfect for skimming.

For many people, budget is one of the biggest considerations. If you need to stick to free plans, then Zoom’s offers more access to features like breakout rooms and recordings. On the other hand, their paid plans are more expensive. The basic pro plan starts at about $15 per month per user, and goes up from there. There are a few annual plans that offer slightly discounted monthly rates.

That being said, Google Meet is part of a more versatile set of tools. This can make it a better value for people who are heavy users of the general Google suite. Plus, it starts at only $6 per user per month so it is a bit more economical. Additionally, many people say that Google Meet is slightly easier to use, while Zoom offers more versatility and advanced customization options. Many people find Zoom better for business-focused features and using an interactive whiteboard. If you plan to use your virtual meeting space for more than just discussions, then you might opt toward Zoom.

Obviously, the option that is best for you is going to depend on your own meeting requirements, budget, and preferences. That being said, our experts give Zoom’s premium option a slight edge because of better white-boarding, note-taking, and security options.

Both Zoom and Google Meet Integrate with Shift

If you want to be effective in your online communication, it’s essential to pick the right tools. Whether you choose Zoom, Google Meet, or any of the other collaboration tools available, you should make sure that it works well with the other tools you depend on.

As an example, if you use Shift as your browser, you’ll be glad to know that both options integrate Seamlessly with the platform. That means you can set up your accounts within Shift and also create Workspaces that include these tools. Plus, one of the main benefits of Shift is that you can limit the logging in and out that normally comes with using different accounts. For example, if you are an executive assistant that manages online meetings for multiple people, you can set up a Workspace for each so that you don’t need to constantly log in and out and keep track of so many credentials.

You can explore all of the apps and extensions that work with Shift on our website. And that’s just the beginning. There are plenty of intuitive features that make Shift a power browser, including:

  • Seamless App integration -  Choose from over 1,500 integrated apps and connect each of your accounts for convenient access.
  • Epic Search - Search across all of your accounts, apps, files, and tools to find exactly what you’re looking for, all in a single search.
  • Unified Calendar - Sync each of your calendars into one convenient view.
  • Bookmarks Manager - Organize and save your most-used websites into a focused and customizable bookmarks bar.
  • Notifications Management - Customize notification settings to schedule quiet hours, mute alerts, or show/hide unread badges for focused browsing.
  • Email Management -  Manage all of your email accounts across Gmail, Outlook, and Office 365 in one centralized window.
  • Workspaces - Whether it’s for work or personal, Shift organizes your apps, accounts, tabs, and bookmarks into dedicated workspaces for focused browsing.

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