Google announced today a new update for its Meet video calling service that allows you to change your background with either hand-picked or your personal images. The new feature is available only on desktop for now.
You can use either the pre-uploaded office spaces, landscapes, and abstract backgrounds or choose to upload your own photo. To replace your background before a video call, you can simply choose a meeting and then click "Change Background" on the bottom right. You will then have the option to click the plus (+) sign to add your own image or choose from any of the hand-picked photos. There are options to blur your background as well, a feature that was launched in September on desktops. During a video call, you can also access these options by clicking the "More" three-dot menu.
For now, virtual backgrounds are live on Chrome OS and the Chrome browser on Windows and macOS devices. Google vows to roll out this feature to mobile devices soon. The new capability is turned off by default, so you'll need to enable it each time you start or join a call.
The feature is available for all personal Google account owners and enterprise users. However, you can’t choose your own background images if you join a G Suite for Education video call.