Google Meet is positioning itself not just as a video conferencing tool but also as a personal video calling app. While there’s still Duo for your consumer-focused video chat service, there are rumors that Meet will be eventually replacing it as well. This latest addition of new tools to Meet like AR filters, effects, and masks seem to support that rumor. A lot of these more “fun” tools are being added for personal Gmail accounts while the more professional tools are for Workspace users.
When you update your Google Meet app, you’ll see a sparkle icon at the bottom right of the video feed. Tapping it will bring up a carousel of color filters, animated augmented reality masks, and other fun effects that you can use during your video chat. However, most of these effects are only available for those with personal Gmail accounts as they are most likely the ones that will use this as they video chat with their family members and friends.
For those that are on Workspace and use Google Meet for work, the options available in the carousel are more “professional”. You get virtual background options as well as some blurring tools. So if you want to use the cats, astronauts, and jellyfish that are mentioned in Google’s tweets, you will have to use your personal Google account for that, hopefully not during a meeting. A lot of these video effects are available on Duo though so if you have that, you can use it as well.
Until now, Google seems to not have a well thought out plan for its messaging and communication apps. We’ve gone through a whole gamut of things like Google Talk, Google+ Messenger, Hangouts, Hangouts Chats, Allo, Duo, Chats, and now Google Meet. For now they are pretty much focused on Google Meet, at least for the video chat and conferencing aspects of it. We don’t know if we’ll be saying goodbye to Duo anytime soon but we won’t be surprised.
For now, at least you can enjoy the filters, effects, and masks on Google Meet. Update your app to the latest version and start playing around with it on your video calls.