After making Google Meet free amidst the growing need for video conferencing platforms, Google was constantly vying to make improvements to the platform and introduce new features, including custom backgrounds. According to Engadget, custom backgrounds are finally live on Google Meet as of this week.
The custom backgrounds feature, which has been in development for quite some time now, is now available on Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS when using Google Meet through Chrome. Custom backgrounds are readily available and do not require any additional software downloads or installations.
“Custom backgrounds can help you show more of your personality, as well as help hide your surroundings,” says Google. The feature is rolling out to web users now, and may take up to seven days to reach all users.
If the feature has been rolled out to you, you’ll see an icon in the bottom-right of the Google Meet interface. Clicking on this icon will let you change your background to one of a variety of images provided by Google, or any image you upload.
In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Google made Meet free on all platforms, albeit with a caveat. Google has since made significant improvements to the platform, and even added Gmail integration.
While custom backgrounds are not currently available for mobile users, mobile support is in the works and will be “coming soon.”
Google Meet competitor Zoom has allowed custom backgrounds for video chats for a while now, but it’s great to see Meet finally getting the option as well.