BigBlueButton vs Google Meet

Last updated: June 03, 2023
BigBlueButton and Google Meet are both video conferencing platforms that offer features for online meetings and collaboration. However, they have some key differences in terms of their focus and functionality.

BigBlueButton is primarily designed for online learning and virtual classrooms. It offers features like video conferencing, screen sharing, chat, breakout rooms, and whiteboard tools. It also integrates with learning management systems (LMS) and supports features like polling, recording, and playback for educational purposes. BigBlueButton puts a strong emphasis on interactive learning experiences and collaboration among participants.

Google Meet, on the other hand, is a more general-purpose video conferencing platform. It offers features like video and audio calls, screen sharing, chat, and integration with other Google Workspace applications. Google Meet is designed for business meetings, team collaboration, and communication. It provides a user-friendly interface and focuses on simplicity and ease of use.

See also: Top 10 e-Learning software
Web Conferencing System Designed For Online Learning. BigBlueButton provides real-time sharing of audio, video, slides, chat, and screen. Students are engaged through sharing of emoji icons, polling, and breakout rooms.
Google Meet
(Formerly Google Hangouts) Video meetings for your business. Connect with your team from anywhere. With easy-to-join video calls, you can meet face to face without the added cost of travel.
BigBlueButton vs Google Meet in our news:

2022. Google Meet gets automatic meeting transcriptions

Google is bringing automatic meeting transcriptions to its Meet video conferencing service. Until now, you needed a third-party service like Otter to record and transcribe your call for you. Now it’s a built-in service. The new feature is now available for meetings in English, with support for French, German, Spanish and Portuguese coming in 2023. Microsoft Teams, of course, started offering a similar feature for meetings in English more than a year ago. Given Google’s experience with other speech-to-text services like its Assistant or the Android Recorder app, it’s a bit odd that it took this long to add this to Meet, but better late than never.

2022. Google Meet’s new feature lets users consume YouTube and Spotify together

Google announced that it’s introducing new Apple SharePlay-like live-sharing features to Google_Meet, making it easier for call-participants to engage with content together in real time. It’s worth noting that Google already introduced some live-sharing features (e.g. watching YouTube videos together) to Duo back in February, and now it’s bringing them to Meet as the part of the Duo-Meet merger. The live-sharing feature will let users watch YouTube videos together. These new features will be available under a new Activities tab — which also hosts Q&A and polls options — and is accessible through the three-dot menu.

2022. Google Duo to unite with Google Meet

Google Duo, the company’s video chat service for consumers, will soon merge with Google Meet, the company’s video chat service for business users. The Duo app will soon get all of Meet’s features, including scheduled calls, and then, once the transition is complete, change its name to Google Meet. At that point, the current Meet app will simply launch the new Duo/Meet app. It’s a bit complicated, but to be fair, moving millions of users to the new platform was always going to be a heavy lift.

2021. Google Meet gets a refreshed UI, multipinning, autozoom and more

Google released a major update to its video-meeting service Google Meet, which brings several user interface tweaks for desktop users, as well as quite a bit of new functionality, including multipinning so that you can highlight multiple feeds instead of just one, as well as new AI-driven video capabilities for light adjustments, autozoom and a new Data Saver feature that limits data usage on slower mobile networks. For presenters who don’t want to see themselves on the screen, Meet now also lets you minimize or completely hide your own video feed — and if you really want to glance into your own eyes, you can also pin your feed to the rest of the grid.

2020. Google brings Meet to Gmail on mobile

Google integrated to mobile Gmail its Meet video conferencing service. Now, if you use Gmail on Android or iOS and somebody sends you a link to a Meet event, you can join the meeting right from your inbox. So you won’t have to install the dedicated Meet app anymore to join a call from Gmail. Gmail app will get a new Meet tab at the bottom of the screen. This new tab will show you all your upcoming Meet meetings in Google Calendar and will allow you to start a meeting, get a link to share or schedule a meeting in Calendar. If you’re not a Meet power user, then you can turn this tab off, too.

2020. Google Meet takes on Zoom by going completely free for everyone

Google announced that Google Meet, its premium videoconferencing software, is going free for everyone. Previously, Meet was only available as a part of Google's G Suite business-oriented service package, which starts at $6 per month per person, but now it will be free to anyone with a Google account. Availability will be gradually expanded in the "following weeks," as Google wants to make sure the experience stays secure and reliable. Meetings on the free version of Meet will be restricted to 60 minutes – though Google says it won't enforce the time limit until after Sept. 30. For comparison, some Zoom video calls on the free version of the software are limited to 40 minutes. There are other limitations, too: The free version only supports 100 participants versus 250 for the paid version, and recording and saving calls is only available on the paid version.

2020. Google Meet adds Zoom-style gallery view

Google is adding a Zoom-style gallery view to one of its video-chat products - Google Meet. Importantly, the service is not free to everyone with a Google account like Hangouts. Rather, it is a paid enterprise service primarily aimed at businesses. The least expensive G Suite tier that gets you access to Google Meet costs $6 per month, per user. The "most popular" version costs $12 per month, per person. In other words, you're paying a premium for a feature that competitors like Zoom offer for free.

2020. Google is rebranding Hangouts services

Google has officially removed the Hangouts brand from its enterprise G Suite offering with the rebranding of Hangouts Chat as Google Chat and Hangouts Meet as Google Meet. As for the Hangouts brand, it will continue to live on as the name of the consumer chat app that Google spun out of its shutdown social network Google+ back in 2013 as a spiritual successor to Gchat.

2017. Google Hangouts Meet provides new $1,999 hardware kit

Hangouts Meet, Google’s service for running video and audio meetings, is getting a few new hardware kit that includes a touchscreen controller, speaker microphone, 4K camera and an ASUS Chromebox to control it all. For a while now, Google has sold numerous meeting kits based around the Acer and ASUS Chromeboxes at prices that range from $999 to $1,999. That was before the Hangouts Meet and Chat schism, though (which is still confusing), and this new kit is specifically geared toward Hangouts Meet and G Suite Enterprise edition customers. It’s also the first set to feature this new touchscreen controller (though that, too, isn’t the first touchscreen specifically geared toward Hangouts meetings). That touchscreen, Google tells me, is a 10-inch MIMO Vue capacitive display with HDMI capture. These screens typically retail for about $499 outside of this kit.

2016. Google acquired work chat Pie

Google has gobbled up Pie, a Slack-like team communications service based in Singapore. Pie’s basic premise is was very much like Slack — and a host of other, better funded rivals in Asia like Eko and ChatWork — and it tried to differentiate itself by focusing on a very basic experience targeted at non-technical companies. The deal, which is an acqui-hire, has been made to boost a new Google team that will focus on developing products for Southeast Asia in the same way that Google has done in India over the past year.