Google Meet brings back a Hangouts feature

Google Meet is Google’s Zoom-like video conferencing service. Meet’s predecessor allowed streaming calls on YouTube, and Google is reintroducing this feature.

Google announced this week that it is rolling out the ability to stream a meeting live on YouTube, without using additional apps usually required for streaming (like OBS). The feature will be available in the Activities panel, under a new option called Live Streaming.

The company said in a blog post, “Live streaming is useful in situations where you want to present information to a large audience outside of your organization, giving them the ability to pause and replay if necessary, or watch the presentation later. To start a YouTube live stream via Meet, you need to get your YouTube channel approved for live streaming in advance. »

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The live-streaming feature is similar (if not identical) to that of Hangouts on Air, which allowed streaming Hangouts calls directly to YouTube. After Hangouts became Hangouts Meet, then Google Meet, Hangouts on Air was lost in the fray. Google shut it down in 2019. Some of Google Meet’s competitors offer live streaming to video platforms, including Microsoft Teams and Zoom, so it’s surprising that Google took so long to bring the feature back.

Unfortunately, live streaming with Google Meet still isn’t as useful as Hangouts on Air used to be, especially if you’re using it with a personal Google account and not a paid Workspace account. Google Meet only allows meetings created from personal accounts to last an hour, unless you pay for Google One Premium, which costs $9.99 per month (and comes with other features).

Google says this feature is available for all currently supported Google Workspace accounts and personal Google (Gmail) accounts, but may take a few days to roll out. People with old G Suite or Workspace “Essentials” accounts will not be able to use live streaming.

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