Google Meet gets more expressive with in-meeting reactions, 360-degree backgrounds

Google Meet's emoji reactions on desktop
(Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • Google is updating Meet with new features as it completes its transition with Duo.
  • Google Meet is gaining new in-meeting reactions on mobile devices and the web.
  • Users on iOS and Android will be able to add 360° backgrounds for a more immersive experience.

Google has announced a few new features coming to Meet, along with an update on the transition between the old Meet and the new combined app.

The company revealed on Wednesday that it is bringing a series of emoji reactions to the in-meeting experience. This will give users a way to silently express themselves during a meeting, using the following emoji:  💖👍🎉👏😂😮😢🤔👎. Google says these reactions "burst based on engagement, creating more emphasis when several people use the same emoji in succession." You'll also be able to select from different skin tones.

These will be available on mobile phones, the web, and Meet hardware devices.

Google Meet's emoji reactions on mobile

(Image credit: Google)

In addition to reactions, Google Meet is also gaining new immersive 360° backgrounds on Android phones and iOS devices. The first new background to be made available will be the beach, which will shift as you move around by using your phone's gyroscope. Other backgrounds coming will include an oasis, sky city, and mountain temple.

Google Meet 360-degree backgrounds

(Image credit: Google)

The new emoji reactions start rolling out today, and users should start noticing them arrive throughout the month. The new 360° backgrounds should start appearing in the coming weeks, although Google says it will provide more information upon release.

In addition to these new features, Google has highlighted its efforts to transition users away from the old Meet app following the completion of its Meet/Duo upgrade, which began last year. Some of you may notice the old app is still on your phone unless you've uninstalled it.

Those using the old version will receive prompts to switch to the new Meet app starting January 17, although it appears you'll still be able to use it for now. However, users won't be able to avoid the upgrade for very long, as it will be required in the coming months.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.