Google Meet vs Zoom: Lights, camera, action!
Last updated on: April 5, 2022
Modern workplaces rely on functional tools to foster effective team collaboration and communication. Whether they are hybrid, remote, or office-first, teams of all types use video conferencing apps to facilitate virtual events and collaboration between team members and people outside the organization.
However, choosing the right app is becoming overwhelming. With plenty of options on the market, all seemingly offering similar functionalities, it’s a rather daunting task to choose the right one.
The Google Meet vs Zoom dilemma is one particularly common situation teams face when narrowing down their options.
To help you make a better decision, we will compare Google Meet and Zoom — two of the most popular video conferencing apps on the market.
First, we’ll do a quick Google Meet vs Zoom overview, for those of you looking for a brief, in a nutshell comparison.
Later on, we will compare the two apps in more detail via:
- User interface,
- Max participant capacity,
- Meeting length,
- Audio and video call settings and reactions,
- Cloud storage,
- Support, and
Let’s get started!
Google Meet vs Zoom overview
The Google Meet vs Zoom rivalry became apparent only in the last couple of years.
Although Zoom was first launched in 2011, and Google Meet — previously Google Hangouts — has been around since 2017, it took the global pandemic to bring out their “rivalry” to the forefront.
Unsurprisingly, the lockdown mandates caused both services to reach a peak in the number of active users. This, naturally, called for new and improved features to roll out to answer the growing demand.
Google Meet rolled out the free version in April 2020 when they reached a record 100 million daily users.
However, with 200 million active daily users, Zoom still takes the lead in this category.
If we take a look at a comparison table below, you can notice there’s no significant difference between what Google Meet and Zoom offer in terms of video conferencing features. Both apps seemingly provide virtually any feature you can think of for effective video collaboration for teams and organizations.
However, once we scratch beneath the surface, it becomes evident that there are some stark differences between how these two services work.
While Zoom may be the most popular video conference app, Google Meet’s unique advantage lies in the fact that it is a web-based video conferencing service that doesn’t require downloading software. It’s accessible to anyone with a Google account.
Essentially, the choice comes down to these specific differences and how they answer to your unique requirements.
Here’s a brief Google Meet vs Zoom comparison.
|Pricing||$0 to $18 user/month||$0 to $19.99 month/license|
|Max participant capacity||500||1,000|
|Meeting length||24 hours max|
1 hour in the free plan
|30 hours max|
40 minutes in the free plan
recording meetings (on paid plans)
group messages during a call
live meeting transcription (on paid plans)breakout rooms
group and individual messages during a call
live meeting transcription (on paid plans)breakout rooms
|Audio and video call settings and reactions||joining restrictions|
|joining restrictions |
|Cloud storage||starting from 15GB per user||starting from 1GB per license|
|Support||24/7 support||24/7 priority support (across all paid plans)|
|Security||solid system security|
no self-hosting option
limited self-hosting option
If you’re looking for a more detailed Google Meet vs Zoom comparison, let’s get an in-depth look at how the two apps measure up for each category.
💵 Google Meet vs Zoom pricing 1:0
Google Meet is available for free on the Google Workspace platform. In this version, Google Meet offers free meetings for up to 100 people with a 1-hour meeting length limit. However one-on-one meetings can last up to 24 hours and each user has 15GB of cloud storage at their disposal.
Zoom, on the other hand, offers a slightly weaker video conferencing experience in the free version. It limits group calls to only 40 minutes, and there’s no cloud storage for meeting recordings. Teams with limited budgets naturally immediately gravitate towards Google Meet which still offers more options for free.
A complete Google Workspace package unlocks additional chat, email, and storage features. The cheapest plan comes at $6 per user, per month, which is comparatively more reasonable than Zoom’s equivalent which costs $14.99.
With this Google Meet plan, users can enjoy digital whiteboarding in addition to an upgrade to 30GB of cloud storage per user. And, even though the storage refers to the whole Google Workspace, it still trumps Zoom’s offer of 1GB of cloud recording storage per license.
Still, Zoom supports polling, breakout rooms, reporting, and user management even in the cheapest plan. Unfortunately, not all users will find it enough to justify the price.
The highest-priced plan for Google Meet costs $18 per user, per month and it provides quite the upgrade. With maximum participants capacity upgraded to 500, it also features:
- Digital whiteboarding,
- 5 TB of cloud storage per user,
- Polling and Q&A,
- Breakout rooms, and
- Attendance tracking.
There’s also a custom Enterprise plan available upon request.
Zoom’s equivalent to Google Meet’s highest-priced plan is $19.99. It offers a similar set of features, except that the maximum number of participants is 300, and there’s only 1GB of recording storage per license.
|Pricing plans||Google Meet||Zoom|
|Cheapest paid plan||$6||$14.99|
📱 Google Meet vs Zoom interface 0:1
When it comes to user interface, it’s usually a matter of personal preference.
However, a clean and sophisticated design will in most cases win over clutter and mess.
In the case of Google Meet vs Zoom, it’s fair to say that both video services took their interface design seriously.
They both offer a simple, user-friendly layout.
Google Meet has a clean, minimalistic interface and Zoom also features a sophisticated design.
Zoom has a slight edge over Google Meet in terms of more advanced options and features available.
Both solutions have custom virtual backgrounds. Google Meet allows you to change your background even during a meeting by simply clicking on your image of yourself. You can blur your background, choose from a selection of images, or upload your own image in Google Meet.
Zoom, however, takes it a step further by allowing an extensive range of video and image virtual backgrounds, which might be a reason enough to win this category.
In Zoom, you can also use filters to customize appearance and lighting during meetings. We all remember that cat filter mishap during a virtual court hearing, with one of the lawyers accidentally appearing as a cat.
In Google Meet, these features are available only through a Chrome extension at the moment.
Moreover, Zoom also wins the resolution game with up to 1080p in the free plan, compared to Google Meet’s quality of up to 720p.
When it comes to cross-platform use, Google Meet offers the same experience on mobile and desktop, while Zoom lacks host controls for polling, breakout rooms, and meeting streaming on mobile. This might be restrictive for productive communication and collaboration on the go.
Both apps feature a tiled gallery layout for calls with a larger number of participants.
👥 Google Meet vs Zoom max participant capacity 0:1
Participant capacity is one of the defining factors when choosing the right video conference service for your organization. Ideally, you’ll need to host productive meetings with teams of different sizes, while being able to access all host controls even during all-hands meetings.
Both Google Meet and Zoom allow you to host a free meeting with a total of 100 participants. These options can work well for smaller teams and organizations on a tight budget that need basic video conference functionality. Still, both services feature quite limiting options across free plans, especially in terms of participant capacity and meeting duration.
Paid versions can extend to a maximum of 500 in Google Meet, and up to 1,000 in Zoom Business and Enterprise plans. In Zoom this is made possible via a Large Meeting add-on which might be somewhat pricey considering its starting price is $600 per year.
Zoom may have the upper hand in terms of sheer numbers here.
However, we may argue that it isn’t necessarily considered an advantage to have the ability to host a video conference with 1,000 participants. The quality of the meeting and the overall productivity can only deteriorate with so many people involved. Anything over 200 participants means most people will only participate passively in most cases. So, this type of arrangement may be more suited for live streams.
At the same time, Google Meet offers cross-domain live streams for up to 100,000 participants in the Enterprise plan, which might be worth exploring for businesses that regularly host larger events.
In summary, although Zoom takes the win in this category, it’s still a matter of specific business needs and preferences.
|Max participant capacity||Google Meet||Zoom|
|Max participants in the free plan||100||100|
|Max participants in paid plans||500||1,000 (via add-on)|
⏳ Google Meet vs Zoom meeting length 1:0
Maximum meeting length is another one of the key categories you want to explore before choosing the perfect video conference service for your team. You can’t necessarily plan each meeting by the minute and hope everyone will stick to their script or a dedicated time slot.
Moreover, best practice tips for remote teams suggest taking some time before getting to the official meeting agenda to check in with your team. It helps everyone loosen up and remote teammates can connect over shared interests.
Unfortunately, both Google Meet and Zoom have seriously limiting group meeting lengths in the free plans.
In Zoom, you can only take 40-minute group meetings for free. This is probably the biggest disadvantage of the app, considering how unmanageable it would be to host effective meetings with up to 100 participants the app allows, in such a short amount of time.
At the same time, Google Meet lets you host free group meetings of up to 60 minutes. Although this still might be restricting, however, additional 20 minutes can sometimes make all the difference. This is why Google Meet has our vote in this category.
One-on-one meetings can last up to 24 hours in Google Meet, whereas Zoom has a 30-hour time limit per meeting.
In Google Meet’s paid plans, you get up to 24 hours for group meetings, whereas Zoom offers a maximum of 30 hours per meeting.
Zoom allows more screen time in paid plans, but this doesn’t make any significant difference considering that rarely any team ever takes their meetings to such an extreme.
|Meeting length||Google Meet||Zoom|
|Group meeting length in the free plan||60 minutes||40 minutes|
|One-on-one meetings||24 hours||30 hours|
|Group meeting length in paid plans||24 hours||30 hours|
👩💻 Google Meet vs Zoom communication 0:1
At first glance, Google Meet and Zoom both offer the same core communication and collaboration features.
However, if you look closely, you’ll notice some significant differences in how these functionalities are organized in each service.
Video recording in Google Meet, for example, is available in paid plans, and it is automatically saved on Google Drive. The feature records the active speaker and everything currently presented on screen.
Zoom, on the other hand, offers meeting recording in the free plan, but you can only store it locally, since cloud storage is available only on paid plans.
Screen sharing is similar in both services, only Zoom allows multiple users to share screens simultaneously.
You can send public messages and share files in Google Meet — but these will disappear right after the meeting. Zoom gets a point in this round as it lets you send messages or files to individuals, groups, or everyone in the meeting.
Moreover, in Zoom meetings, you can split off into up to 50 different sessions — i.e. breakout rooms for free, whereas Google Meet offers this option only on paid plans.
If you’re looking to “feel the pulse of your employees” or quiz your students during a lesson with polling, you’ll need to upgrade to paid plans in both apps.
Here’s how the Google Meet vs Zoom comparison looks like in terms of extra features:
- Live transcription is available in both services on paid plans.
- Closed captioning — Automatic in Google Meet, in Zoom, they have to be typed in.
- Whiteboard — Free in Zoom, in Google Meet via Jamboard.
|Video recording||Only in paid plans||Available across all plans|
|Screen sharing||Yes||Yes (available for multiple users simultaneously)|
|Share messages and files||Only public||Public, group, or direct messages and files|
|Breakout rooms||Only in paid plans||Available across all plans|
|Whiteboard||Via Jamboard||Built-in and available in all plans|
✋ Google Meet vs Zoom settings and reactions 1:1
Advanced audio and video call settings and reactions are a vital prerequisite for ensuring an uninterrupted meeting experience and better overall productivity.
Whether you’re hosting a casual check-in meeting with your team members, or a more formal meeting with people outside your organization, you’ll need an optimum level of control of the situation.
At the same time, quick emoji reactions and hand raising are key features for maintaining an uninterrupted flow of the meetings, in addition to fostering better overall effectiveness.
Both Google Meet and Zoom allow for audio and video settings that help you better optimize your virtual meetings. For example, hosts can allow participants to join without turning on their cameras. This ensures better control of who can see specific things during larger meetings.
Also, hosts can auto-mute individual participants to better control meetings and ultimately save time.
Emoji reactions and hand raising are available on both services, allowing participants to provide feedback without disrupting the ongoing conversation, or raise a hand to ask a question or add to the discussion.
Hosts can enable or disable specific or all emoji reactions in Google Meet and Zoom. In addition, participants can choose the skin tone of the emojis they use in both apps. Emoji reactions in Zoom disappear after 10 seconds, while raise hand and other nonverbal feedback reactions (Yes, No, Speed up, Slow down) remain active until the participant or the host manually removes them.
Participants in both apps can raise a hand during meetings to ask questions, or express their opinion. Either hosts or participants themselves can lower their hand to indicate their question or statement has been addressed.
Overall, both apps allow teams and hosts plenty of options to tailor their meeting experience to their preferences.
|Settings and reactions||Google Meet||Zoom|
|Audio and video call settings||Advanced||Advanced|
|Emoji reactions in different colors||Yes||Yes (disappear after 10 seconds)|
☁️ Google Meet vs Zoom cloud storage 1:0
Google Meet is a definitive storage champion, considering it’s backed up by a giant such as Google Drive that hardly any app can compete with.
By default, every Google Meet user gets 15GB of cloud storage space included in the Google Workspace plan. Granted, not all of this storage is for meeting recordings only, however, it’s still more than generous, especially in comparison to the zero you get for free in Zoom.
Even in the Pro and Business plans, Zoom offers only 1GB per license which can’t compete with what Google Meet offers — 30GB, 2TB, and 5TB per user.
Only Enterprise plans provide a level playing field for Zoom and Google Meet with both offering unlimited cloud storage space. Still, many organizations would rather choose more affordable plans in Google Meet that allow for substantial cloud space for meeting recordings.
|Cloud storage||Google Meet||Zoom|
|Free cloud storage||15GB per user||Only local|
|Cloud storage in paid plans||30GB to 5TB per user||1GB per license|
|Cloud storage in Enterprise plans||Unlimited||Unlimited|
🖇️ Google Meet vs Zoom integrations 0:1
Third-party integrations play an important role in transforming your video conference into a dynamic collaborative space. Although Google Meet and Zoom both already allow for plenty of functionality for teamwork and communication in real-time, it’s still interesting to explore all the other options that can be added to suit your unique organization requirements.
Zoom seems to have understood the assignment in terms of helping a wide range of businesses and industries to create their personal meeting workstations in the app.
Zoom integrates with over 1,500 third-party apps. You can browse through categories such as Analytics, Broadcasting & Streaming, Productivity, Project Management, and Games to find everything you need to make your workflow more productive and effective.
Moreover, Zoom also does a great job in terms of transparency. If you click on any app in the Zoom app marketplace you’ll be able to access detailed information on the app permissions and what it can access when it’s not actively in use.
On the flip side, Google Meet supports over 200 integrations with leading apps such as Trello, HubSpot, Square, Evernote, Zapier, Freshbooks, and Slack.
Although this is a comparatively smaller number than Zoom’s third-app gallery offer, Google Meet still lets you create a dynamic and productive workspace to streamline your communication and collaboration.
Google Meet by default works seamlessly with other Google products and services including Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Chats, Sheets, and Docs.
|Number of integrations||200+ integrations with leading apps||1,500+ integrations with leading apps|
ℹ️ Google Meet vs Zoom support 0:1
Although both apps are pretty intuitive and user-friendly, both still feature a solid set of resources to guide you through all processes and features.
That being said, Zoom has slightly more reliable and detailed support which gives the app a slight advantage over Google Meet in this category.
Here are the support resources available to Zoom users.
- Help Center
- Live chat
- Contact form
- Support phone line
- Live training
- How-to videos
Google Meet also features a detailed set of resource materials and support options.
- Google Meet Help (articles, guides)
- Google Meet Community
- Phone chat and email support (paid plans)
- Priority support (only in Enterprise plans)
Overall, Zoom offers more in terms of support. With priority support available across all paid plans, it’s only fair that Zoom wins this round.
🔐 Google Meet vs Zoom security 1:0
Security is another one of the key features when it comes to Google Meet vs Zoom dilemma. It can make all the difference, especially for businesses and organizations using these tools for official business communication and collaboration. It’s imperative that all these conversations are kept private and information and files are shared safely.
Unfortunately, security is a touchy subject with Zoom which still to this day has to work on damage control caused by some of the serious security incidents including Zoombombing and encryption algorithm vulnerability revealed in 2020. Although they have put immense effort to amend these security issues, organizations that require maximum security may still be on the fence.
Google Meet has the upper hand when it comes to security right off the bat. To enter Google Meet meetings, users need a Google account, which automatically excludes uninvited participants and allows easier host control of potentially disruptive participants. In Zoom, you can join a meeting as a participant only, without signing up. Even though hosts can set up passwords to regulate who can join, it is still not the safest solution.
Both services have joining restrictions. Google Meet allows you to control how early participants can join, while Zoom has waiting rooms — both of which serve to restrict people to join until hosts let them in.
Strong, randomly generated meeting codes are available in Google Meet, whereas Zoom offers passwords.
By default, Google Meet has access to Google’s built-in protections in addition to endpoint management data vaults and security dashboards on the Enterprise plan.
Still, neither service offers complete control over your data, as there isn’t a completely self-hosted option. Zoom offers a self-hosting option with user and metadata management located in the Zoom public cloud.
💡 Pumble Pro Tip
For more on the importance of data security in collaboration tools, read our ultimate guide on the subject:
🏆 Google Meet vs Zoom Verdict 5:6
Although numbers speak in Zoom’s favor, we’d still, at least, call it a tie. After all, Google Meet leads in the two key categories — security and pricing.
|Max participant capacity||0||1|
|Audio and video call settings and reactions||1||1|
Zoom may have more options available in the free version, yet Google Meet provides all the perks that come with the Google Workspace package, in addition to better security, robust cloud storage, and more reasonable pricing.
At the same time, both apps allow for an intuitive and dynamic virtual meeting environment with plenty of additional features available for a complete workplace experience.
In the end, the choice is yours. Compare all the pros and cons of each app and make a decision that makes the most sense to your specific needs.