Zoom and Google are both excellent videoconferencing platforms which have everything you’re likely to need for communicating over distance with your team. Both offer tons of integrations and live captioning.
Zoom has several advantages over Google Meet. But Google Meet also has a few things on Zoom. Below we break down what each bring to the table in terms of screen sharing, handling multiple input sources, chat, video quality, integrations, live captioning, meeting management, and that very important consideration: cost!
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The ability to share your screen while presenting is an important part of video conferencing. Both Google Meet and Zoom offer very similar screen sharing capabilities. Google Meet allows a presenter to share their entire screen, a window, or a tab. If you present a Chrome tab, it shares that tab's audio by default.
Zoom has all the same screen sharing options, plus a few more. These include their phone or tablet screen, one or more specific applications, content from a second camera, a Whiteboard, a locally stored video, and audio played from a device.
Every videoconferencing platform enables you to display video from your computer’s built-in webcam. And both Google Meet and Zoom enable you to share video from additional cameras either simultaneously or to be able to quickly switch between feeds.
Google Meet makes it easy to switch between your built-in webcam, USB cameras, or a Huddly Series One Smart Camera or Smart Camera XL, which come with Google Meet Series One room kits from Lenovo.
Zoom also makes it easy to share a stream from an additional camera using the Screen Share menu. Unlike Google Meet, Zoom also offers multi-Camera mode, where you can enable multiple cameras simultaneously from a single conference room. Multiple cameras can better capture in-room participants or provide different viewing angles of the room.
Most video conferencing platforms enable participants to type messages to other participants in the call. Some support GIFs natively, but neither Google Meet nor Zoom currently do. However, there’s an extension for Google Meet that will enable it. Neither platform currently supports tagging a person in chat.
Another limitation of both is that participants can only view chat messages when on the video call. Messages sent before joining aren’t displayed and all messages disappear when you leave the video call.
Google Meet’s big chat advantage over Zoom is that it saves the conversation log for recorded meetings while Zoom does not. Google Meet’s big disadvantage over Zoom is that with Zoom you can send private messages to individual participants while chats sent on Google Meet are visible to everyone in the call. Also, if you join a conference room using Google meeting room hardware, you can view the messages, but not send.
But Zoom has the advantage when it comes to reactions, which are built into Zoom. But it’s not a huge advantage, since you can do the same in Google Meet via an extension.
Winner: Google Meet’s ability to save chats gives it a slight edge.
How crisp and fast your video quality is will depend on a host of factors, including your webcam, internet connection, and other hardware and software. But your videoconferencing software also plays a part.
Google Meet offers 720p video streaming with no other enhancements. Zoom also offers 720p, but only for Pro account users or higher, and only for meetings with two participants max. It does offer 1080p quality, but currently only for special-use cases. Zoom also enables other quality adjustments, including:
- Adjust for low light
- Touch up my appearance (Windows/macOS, iOS)
- Apply video filters
- Use virtual backgrounds
- Apply Studio Effects
Winner: Since pixels aren’t everything, Zoom’s other ways to improve your image quality gives it the advantage here.
Integrations, extensions, and add-ons help you automate your workflows and unlock extra features for your video conferencing experience.
The Zoom App Marketplace boasts integrations with more than 1500 apps. While Google Meet doesn’t have a central app marketplace, it does offer integrations through automate.io and a ton of extensions such as Meeting Notes for Google Calendar & Meet or Google Meet Enhancement Suite.
Both Zoom and Google Meet have 4000+ Zapier integrations.
Winner: When it comes to the breadth of what’s available, I’d say it’s a tie. If you have a piece of software you’re really interested in integrating with your video conferencing platform, I’d search both platform’s integrations to be sure they both offer it before moving forward.
User permissions might not be something you think about until you’re moderating a meeting and need to be able to mute someone’s mic. But when it’s needed, it’s really needed.
Zoom allows a host to restrict screen sharing to just themselves before the meeting and during the meeting in the host control bar so no random people in your public session take control of the screen and share unwanted content with the group.
It also lets you allow only signed-in users to join a meeting, lock a meeting that’s started to new attendees even if they have an invite and passcode, require a meeting passcode.
In Zoom a host can remove, disable video, and/or mute any unwanted or disruptive participants. And they can also report any user to Zoom’s Trust & Safety team. For the whole meeting, a host can “Suspend Participant Activities” to temporarily halt all video, audio, in-meeting chat, annotation, screen sharing, and recording, and end Breakout Rooms. They can also turn off annotation and disable private chat for everyone.
Google Meet also allows a host to turn off screen sharing by participants. Google Meet has more options for who can join a meeting, but they’re only available to account admins and not mere meeting hosts. Similarly, you must be an admin to turn chat on and off, and you can only do it for the entire organization, not a single meeting. Google Meet doesn't have functionality for removing, disabling video, and/or muting individual participants. Nor is there any reporting mechanism or “Suspend Participant Activities.” You can’t lock a meeting that’s started in Google Meet.
For participants with hearing impairment or those who need to join without audio, live captioning can be a lifesaver. Both Google Meet and Zoom offer live captioning. Zoom enables the host or another meeting attendee assigned by the host to provide manual captioning, an integrated third-party closed captioning service can provide the captioning, or Zoom’s live transcription feature can provide automatic captioning through closed caption settings.
Winner: It’s a tie since they both offer live captioning
Both Google Meet and Zoom have free, paid, and enterprise plans.
Google Meet’s free plan includes:
- 1:1 meetings that can last up to 24 hours
- One-hour meetings for two or more participants with a cap at 100 participants
- An unlimited number of meetings
The Google Meet paid plan starts at $9.99/user/month and offers meeting recording, noise reduction, dial-in joining, hand raising, breakout rooms, polls, and 15 GB of cloud recorded meeting storage per user. Enterprise plans are custom pricing and include Q&A, attendance reports, and live streaming in-domain as well as several privacy and security features.
Zoom’s free plan includes:
- Meetings with up to 100 participants
- Unlimited group meetings for up to 40 minutes
- Unlimited one-to-one meetings with a 30 hour time limit per meeting
- Private and group chat
Zoom’s paid plans start at $149.90/year/license. That’s the pro plan, which offers the ability to host meetings with up to 1,000 participants with the Large Meetings add-on, group meetings for up to 30 hours, social media streaming, and 1 GB of cloud recorded meeting storage per license. The small business plan costs $199.90/year/license for up to 99 licenses. It allows you to host meetings with up to 300 participants without the add on, use single sign-on, record transcripts, use managed domains, and whitelabel your meetings. For meetings with 500 participants without the add on and unlimited cloud storage you’ll want the enterprise plan, which costs $240/year/license.
Winner: At the free level, capping group meetings at 40 minutes gives Google Meet the advantage. At the paid level, you get more storage for less money from Google Meet as well.
Winner: Google Meet
Zoom and Google meet both have everything you’re likely to need from a videoconferencing solution for communicating with your team. Both offer tons of integrations and live captioning.
Zoom has several advantages over Google Meet. It enables all the screen sharing functionality of Google Meet, along with the ability to share your screen from more sources. It also makes it easy to share a stream from an additional camera and offers multi-Camera mode. Zoom also offers more ways to improve your image quality than Google Meet. Lastly, Zoom has the edge when it comes to meeting management.
Google Meet’s main advantages over Zoom are its ability to save a chat and its cheaper pricing and greater offerings at the free level.