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FAQ: Google Meet, Google Chat, and Hangouts

Understand the difference between Google Meet, Google Chat, and Hangouts

Hangouts (sometimes referred to as classic Hangouts), has evolved into 2 premium products:

  • Google Chat for messaging
  • Google Meet for video and audio meetings
Original product                                                     New products

"" Hangouts (classic Hangouts)

"" Google Chat (previously called Hangouts Chat)

Includes direct messaging, group chat, and advanced features, such as spaces, chat bots, and powerful search.

 "" Google Meet (previously called Hangouts Meet)

Includes high-fidelity group video calls, screensharing, and live captioning. Depending on which edition of Google Workspace you have, Meet might also include advanced features, such as up to 250 participants per meeting, meeting recordings, and in-domain live streaming.


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Which product should I use?

It depends on what you’d like to accomplish.

I want to... I use an account at work or school I use my personal Gmail account
Host a video meeting (scheduled or instant) or call someone directly

"" Google Meet

Chat with someone "" Google Chat 

Chat is the newer and preferred platform for messaging at work or school, but some organizations do still use classic Hangouts, and some use both apps. If you’re not sure which you should use, check with your administrator.

"" Google Chat 

Chat is the newer and preferred messaging app. Children under 13, (or the applicable age in their region), don’t yet have access to Chat. Classic Hangouts is still available for children or if you're not yet ready to switch to Chat.

How do I get Meet?

Businesses and organizations: Meet is included in G Suite Basic, Business, Google Workspace for Education, and Enterprise, and Google Workspace. For purchase information, contact our sales team.

If your organization or team already has G Suite or Google Workspace, your administrator can enable Meet at no additional cost. (If you’re not sure who your administrator is, use these tips.)

After Meet is enabled, you can start using it at and the Meet mobile app (available for Android or iOS). 

Teams: Your team can start using Meet with the Essentials offering. With Essentials, teams can easily sign up with an existing work email address and immediately start using Meet. Essentials also includes Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides, as well as access to advanced features in Meet and Drive. 

Students and educators: Meet is included as part of Google Workspace for Education (offered for free to schools) and Google Workspace for Education Plus. If your school already uses Google Workspace for Education, your admin can enable Meet at no additional cost. If your school doesn’t have Google Workspace for Education, you can request it. We’ll review your request and let you know next steps.

Individuals: Individuals have access to Meet through and the Meet mobile app (available for Android or iOS). Anyone with a Google Account can create or join meetings. If you don't have a Google Account, you’ll simply need to create a Google Account to access the free version of Meet.

How do I get Chat?

Businesses and organizations: Chat is included in G Suite and Google Workspace. For purchase information, contact our sales team

If your organization or team already has G Suite or Google Workspace, Chat is probably already enabled. If you have trouble accessing Chat, your admin can enable Chat at no additional cost. (If you’re not sure who your administrator is, use these tips.) 

After Chat is enabled, you can start using it at Learn more about using Chat

Students and educators: Chat is included as part of Google Workspace for Education, which is offered for free to schools. If your school already uses Google Workspace for Education, your admin can enable Chat at no additional cost. If your school doesn’t use Google Workspace for Education, you can request it. We’ll review your request and let you know next steps.

Individuals can now get started with Chat.

How is Chat in Gmail different from Chat?

You get the same features in Chat and Chat in Gmail, but the integrated Gmail experience provides a central location for collaborating across your services.

  • Chat—Use when you prefer a dedicated chat experience and don't mind switching between different apps.
  • Gmail—Use when you like to multi-task and prefer to see all your communications in one place.

If you use Chat at work or school, you can access Chat directly in Gmail if your organization enables Chat.  Individuals can also use Chat in Gmail. To get started, see Use Chat in Gmail.

How do I use Meet for video meetings?

You can use Meet for scheduled and instant video meetings or to join a video call. Meet works with all modern browsers, and there’s no plugin required when using your desktop or laptop. Anyone can create or join meetings in Meet at no cost, regardless of whether they have a G Suite or Google Workspace account.

You can access Meet on the web at, download the Android or iOS app, schedule Meet calls using Google Calendar, and start or join calls directly from Gmail. For more tips on using Meet, visit our Learning Center

I use Gmail, but I can’t find Meet or Chat. Where are they?

If you don't see Meet or Chat in the Gmail sidebar, make sure they are enabled in your Gmail settings.  If you use Gmail for work or school, your admin also needs to enable Meet and Chat as described in How do I get Meet and How do I get Chat

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How do I use advanced Meet features, such as live streaming and recording meetings?

The features available in Meet depend on your edition. Compare editions.

How much does Meet cost?

Meet is included with G Suite Basic, Business, and Enterprise and Google Workspace. The cost depends on your edition. Compare editions.

Individuals can use the free version of Meet which includes video meetings for up to 100 participants with a 60-minute time limit at no cost. This time limit won't be enforced until early 2021.

How much does Chat cost?
Chat is included with G Suite and Google Workspace. The cost depends on your edition. Compare editions.
Chat is also available at no cost for individuals with Google accounts. 
Is Meet safe?

Meet takes advantage of the same secure-by-design infrastructure, built-in protection, and global network that Google uses to secure your information and safeguard your privacy. 

Our Meet security fundamentals include safety measures that are on by default and Meet adheres to the same robust privacy commitments and data protections as the rest of Google Cloud’s services. All data in Meet is encrypted in transit by default between the client and Google for video meetings on a web browser, on the Android and iOS apps, and in meeting rooms with Google meeting room hardware. Learn more

Advanced security controls relevant for businesses and organizations are available through G Suite Enterprise edition.

How is Meet secure?

We employ a vast array of on-by-default measures to keep your meetings safe for both web and telephony dial-ins. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Our meeting codes are 10 characters long, with 25 characters in the set. This makes it harder to brute force "guess" meeting codes.
  • Participants not on the calendar invite must request to join the meeting, which must be accepted by the meeting organizer (host) or a member of the host organization.
  • We limit the ability of participants (out-of-domain participants for paid accounts) to join the meeting more than 15 minutes in advance of the scheduled time, reducing the window in which a brute force attack can be attempted.

Consumer meeting safety is further strengthened through the following defaults built in Meet. For example: 

  • Anonymous users (users without Google Accounts) are not allowed to join meetings. 
  • Only users on the calendar invite can enter without knocking.
  • Only the meeting host can invite people from within the meeting and accept requests to join.
  • Only the meeting host can remove or mute participants directly within a meeting. 
  • Meet places numerical limits on potential abuse vectors, such as the meeting length and meeting creation rate.
  • Users can report abusive behavior in meetings.

How does Meet ensure user privacy?

The Google privacy team participates in every product launch, reviewing design documentation and performing code reviews to ensure that privacy requirements are followed. Google Cloud does not process Meet user data for advertising and we do not sell customer data to third parties. Google Cloud, which offers Meet, also undergoes regular rigorous security and privacy audits for our services, including Meet, and follows a rigid process for responding to any government requests for customer data. We disclose information about the number and type of requests we receive from governments through the Google Transparency Report.

For smart features and personalization, you decide whether Google products can use data from Gmail, Chat, and Meet to personalize your experience in those products. How to choose your settings

Is Meet compliant with my industry requirements?

Google understands the needs of regulated industries, such as healthcare and finance. Our products, including Meet, regularly undergo independent verification of their security, privacy, and compliance controls, achieving certifications, attestations of compliance, or audit reports against standards around the world. To learn how Google Meet supports compliance with HIPAA, FERPA, COPPA, and other regulations, see the compliance section in Google Meet security and privacy.

Is Meet secure for use in schools and higher education?

Google is committed to building products that help protect student and educator privacy, and provide best-in-class security for your institution. Google Workspace for Education core services, including Meet, support compliance with regulations and laws like COPPA, FERPA, HIPAA, and GDPR, and meeting safety defaults tailored to education. For tips and best practices for admins on securely deploying Meet to education domains, visit the Meet security and privacy for education page.

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Classic Hangouts & Duo


Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.


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