Category Archives: Official Google Blog

Insights from Googlers into our topics, technology, and the Google culture

Five things we’ve learned about Web Stories

Last October, we created a home for Web Stories in Google Discover so users could find a personalized stream of the best Web Stories from around the internet. The goal with Web Stories is to enable publishers and creators to easily build and take full ownership of their content. 

The reception from publishers has been amazing. Over 20 million Web Stories are already online, with 100,000 new Stories being added daily. And people on 6,500 new domains have published Web Stories since October 2020. 

chart showing percentage of domains producing Web Stories across the world

Millions of viewers are also seeing and engaging with Web Stories every day on Google Discover and Google Search. Through this immersive and intuitive format, viewers can  take a virtual snorkeling trip, try a new workout, and make tasty desserts.

In our chats with creators, we’ve heard that they want more insights and resources to help them create the content their audiences are eager to view. Here’s are some useful things we’ve learned so far:

1. Lifestyle content, with aspirational imagery, informative how-to info, and relevant product-partnership opportunities, fits      the Story format well and has the highest engagement of any vertical.

Web Story examples across Beauty & Fitness, Home & Garden, Arts & Entertainment, and Shopping
2. With a wide range of visually appealing topics, the Arts and Entertainment and Food and Drink verticals gain the most          online impressions.

3. Viewers are hungry for new Arts and Entertainment, Celebrity, and Sports and Gaming content. With new TV, movie, and  game releases rolling out all the time, these verticals offer opportunities for growth.


4. There is no “perfect” page length for high-quality Stories, but we’ve noticed that users tend to click or tap through an              average of 11-15 pages. 

5. On Google Discover, users watch an average of 1.7 Stories for every Story opened, but this can vary significantly across            demographics.

We look forward to sharing more insights to help you produce the best Web Stories for your audience. To learn more about how to get started with Web Stories, visit Stories.Google.

Doing our part for California’s monarch butterflies

We’re always looking for ways to use our technology and resources to protect the planet and support our communities. This means setting moonshot goals — like operating entirely on carbon-free energy, every hour of every day by 2030, and it also means working together with governments and nonprofits, to address urgent and local sustainability issues in creative ways. 


Since 2014, we’ve been using our campuses to support wildlife and our communities. Our Ecology Program has created over 13 acres of new site-appropriate habitat on our campuses, with dozens more in the works.


As part of this work, we’re taking steps to help address the threat facing California’s monarch butterflies. Last year, California only saw 2,000 monarch butterflies during the winter: a 99.9% decline from the millions of monarchsthat visited the state in the 1980s and over a 90% decline just from 2019, when 29,000 monarchs were identified. Unfortunately, increased development, climate change and pesticides are all contributing to the rapid decline of the once-plentiful monarchs.  This threatens the species as well as the crops we eat and the entire ecosystems that the monarchs call home. 


We’re building on the state of California’s conservation efforts with $1 million to help restore and enhance an additional 600 acres of habitat for monarchs and other pollinators across California, including creating more habitat on our own campuses. Monarchs need more habitat to support their repopulation and migration, which means protecting and restoring key sites on the coast and adding more native milkweed and nectar plants in priority areas across the state.

Image of a monarch butterfly, flying over a green plant with a blue sky in the background.

 A monarch butterfly flies over a narrowleaf milkweed plant in California.

Google will spend $500,000 to create new monarch and other pollinator habitat on our Bay Area and Southern California campuses. And Google.org is granting $500,000 across the Xerces Society and Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), to help protect and restore hundreds of acres of important monarch habitat where it matters most across California, including habitat restoration south of San José in coordination with the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority


We’ll also be sponsoring research to understand the science behind why the monarch population is crashing and will be monitoring monarchs on our Bay Area campuses to observe their habitat use, sharing our findings with local organizations and agency scientists to help identify other potential efforts that can reverse the trend.  


This week, not coincidentally, is National Pollinator Week. We hope today’s news raises awareness of the plight of the monarch butterfly, and encourages others to contribute to save this critical and beautiful fixture in the backyards, parks, farms and wildlands of our home state.

Photos courtesy Xerces Society

An updated timeline for Privacy Sandbox milestones

Today, we’re sharing the latest on the Privacy Sandbox initiative including a timeline for Chrome’s plan to phase out support for third-party cookies. While there’s considerable progress with this initiative, it's become clear that more time is needed across the ecosystem to get this right.


The Privacy Sandbox initiative aims to create web technologies that both protect people’s privacy online and give companies and developers the tools to build thriving digital businesses to keep the web open and accessible to everyone, now, and for the future. To make this happen, we believe the web community needs to come together to develop a set of open standards to fundamentally enhance privacy on the web, giving people more transparency and greater control over how their data is used. 


In order to do this, we need to move at a responsible pace. This will allow sufficient time for public discussion on the right solutions, continued engagement with regulators, and for publishers and the advertising industry to migrate their services. This is important to avoid jeopardizing the business models of many web publishers which support freely available content. And by providing privacy-preserving technology, we as an industry can help ensure that cookies are not replaced with alternative forms of individual tracking, and discourage the rise of covert approaches like fingerprinting.


We plan to continue to work with the web community to create more private approaches to key areas, including ad measurement, delivering relevant ads and content, and fraud detection. Today, Chrome and others have offered more than 30 proposals, and four of those proposals are available in origin trials. For Chrome, specifically, our goal is to have the key technologies deployed by late 2022 for the developer community to start adopting them. Subject to our engagement with the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and in line with the commitments we have offered, Chrome could then phase out third-party cookies over a three month period, starting in mid-2023 and ending in late 2023. 


Each proposal goes through a rigorous, multi-phased public development process, including extensive discussion and testing periods. This is consistent with how other open APIs and web technologies get developed:

  • Discussion: The technologies and their prototypes are discussed in forums like GitHub or W3C groups.
  • Testing: The technologies are rigorously tested in Chrome through potentially numerous origin trials, allowing for transparency and feedback throughout. For example, we received substantial feedback from the web community during the origin trial for the first version of FLoC. We plan to conclude this origin trial in the coming weeks and incorporate input, before advancing to further ecosystem testing.
  • Ready for adoption: Once the development process is complete, the successful technologies are ready to be used at scale. They will be launched in Chrome and ready for scaled use across the web.

After this public development process, and subject to our engagement with the CMA, our plan for Chrome is to phase out support for third party cookies in two stages:

  • Stage 1 (Starting late-2022): Once testing is complete and APIs are launched in Chrome, we will announce the start of stage 1. During stage 1, publishers and the advertising industry will have time to migrate their services. We expect this stage to last for nine months, and we will monitor adoption and feedback carefully before moving to stage 2.
  • Stage 2 (Starting mid-2023):Chrome will phase out support for third-party cookies over a three month period finishing in late 2023.

Soon we will provide a more detailed schedule on privacysandbox.com, where it will be updated regularly to provide greater clarity and ensure that developers and publishers can plan their testing and migration schedules. 

Along with progress on developing alternatives to third-party cookies, we continue to advance another key Privacy Sandbox goal to combat covert tracking like device fingerprinting. For instance, last month we published an update on our plans for User Agent string reduction, a project which aims to reduce the possibility of using this data to fingerprint and track users across the web. 


We believe that the Privacy Sandbox will provide the best privacy protections for everyone. By ensuring that the ecosystem can support their businesses without tracking individuals across the web, we can all ensure that free access to content continues. And because of the importance of this mission, we must take time to evaluate the new technologies, gather feedback and iterate to ensure they meet our goals for both privacy and performance, and give all developers time to follow the best path for privacy.


How Joy Jackson prepared for her Google interview

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Joy Jackson, a data center technician on the global server operations team, who shares how she went from studying to be a graphic designer to discovering a passion for IT and joining the Google data center team.

What’s your role at Google?

I am currently a data center technician on the Global Server Operations team, leading local projects as well as working with our team to deploy and maintain Google's advanced data center servers and network infrastructure. What I love most about my role is working with a diverse team and seeing how passionate each of us is to make sure that our network is up and running, ensuring users have the best and fastest experience possible.

What does your typical day look like right now?

A typical work day for me right now ranges from many different duties like physical deployments of the data center, maintaining servers and networking infrastructure and working closely with various partner teams to ensure our goals, missions and projects are successfully delivered.

Tell us about yourself?

I grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, and after graduating high school I left Charleston and went to The Art Institute of Charlotte, where I received my associate’s degree in graphic design. When I am not working, I like to spend my time on graphic projects and photography. Some of my hobbies outside of designing and photos are hiking, doing yoga and most importantly, traveling. I love to meet new people, explore new areas and learn about different cuisines and cultures. 

Can you tell us about your decision to apply to work at Google?

I was interested in Google because of how innovative the company is. I had never applied before and was intimidated because of how huge the company is. When I applied and heard back about interviews, I was extremely nervous because I did not think I would be a good fit due to being at the very early stages of my career.

Joy stands in front of a Google logo across a piece of wood cut in the shape of Virginia.

Joy works at one of Google’s Virginia data centers.

How would you describe your path to your current role at Google?

When I went off to college, I thought my heart was set on becoming a graphic designer and opening my own agency. But as I progressed in life and my career, I found myself more interested in working in IT. I worked hard to transition from what I thought I wanted to do to where I am now. And I am happy I did – I love the work we do. I have had opportunities to work in different data center locations and in different roles, just by learning new skills and opening myself up to reach out to other site locations and their teams.

What inspires you to come in every day?

I am inspired each day to come into work because of the millions of lives we are able to touch. It's just a great feeling knowing that, by the work we are doing, we are able to help so many people stay connected with friends and loved ones.

How did the recruitment process go for you?

I was referred to apply, and I was nervous about not being the right fit. But after my phone interview, I decided to stay open-minded about the process. Because I knew I could do the job and it was a perfect fit.

What's one thing you wish you could go back and tell yourself before applying? I wish I could go back to the moment before I applied and tell myself that it is okay to ask questions! I was so nervous and scared to ask any questions.

What resources did you find most helpful when preparing for the interview?

One of the resources I used to prepare for my interviews were sites like LinkedIn Learning, taking the time to do online courses and training classes and watching tutorials.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?

Never doubt your abilities to achieve anything you put your mind to. With education, drive and determination, you can reach your goals.


Graphic with a photo of Joy wearing an Android t-shirt on the right, and on the left, text that reads: “My Path to Google, Data Center Technician.”
10:25

We’re expanding our support of news in Canada

Access to trustworthy information is important to all of us, and it’s vital for society to continue supporting the reporters who work tirelessly to deliver us news. That’s why today we are announcing new investments to continue our support of Canadian newsrooms and journalists across the country. 

Support for Canadian journalism through News Showcase

We have signed agreements with a number of Canadian publishers for Google News Showcase, a product and licensing program that provides a space for newsrooms to curate their content for readers across Google News and Discover. These deals will help support Canadian newsrooms that provide comprehensive general-interest news to the communities they serve. This long-term investment will support news organizations in producing, distributing and explaining essential information to readers. The first Canadian partners for News Showcase are Black Press Media, Glacier Media, The Globe and Mail, Métro Média, Narcity Media, SaltWire Network, Village Media and Winnipeg Free Press.

Together, these eight publishers represent national, regional and local news that touches communities in both official languages from coast-to-coast-to-coast in Canada. Today’s announcement builds on News Showcase deals signed by nearly 800 news publications around the world. More than 90% of these publications represent local or regional news. 

This image shows the logos of Google’s current partners for News Showcase in Canada: Black Press Media, Glacier Media, The Globe and Mail, Métro Média, Narcity Media, SaltWire Network, Village Media and Winnipeg Free Press

 Logos of our current News Showcase news partners in Canada

As part of our licensing deals, we’re also paying news organizations for access to select paywalled content, giving Canadians access to a wide range of news content. We work closely with news outlets to determine the right amount of content to share to help drive subscriptions as users experience the benefits of subscribing to authoritative news outlets.

There will be more partnerships to come as we continue to engage in active negotiations with publishers across Canada. We look forward to launching News Showcase here soon. 

What publishers are saying about News Showcase


Expanded support through Google News Initiative 

News Showcase is just one part of our longstanding, overall commitment to the Canadian news industry. Today we are also announcing additional investments through our Google News Initiative, a global effort to help journalism thrive in the digital age: 

Training journalists in digital skills:Over the next three years we’ll train 5,000 Canadian journalists and journalism students on strengthening digital skills in newsrooms – a five-times increase from the 1,000 journalists we’ve already trained to date. 

Supporting business sustainability: We’ll expand our business-oriented workshops for small and mid-sized news organizations on topics including audience development, reader revenue and advertising revenue. The 10 sessions will be delivered in French and English and build upon our award winning News Consumer Insights tools.

We are introducing our first custom designed GNI Startups Boot Camp dedicated exclusively to aspiring Canadian news entrepreneurs starting a business or non-profit journalism project in Canada.  Applications open in the fall. 

Promoting news innovation: We are announcing our third North American Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge to fund selected projects focused on helping local publishers think about new ways to understand, enhance and serve the needs of their communities. Applications are now open

“When the Halifax Examiner joined GNI Startup Labs, I was cautiously optimistic that it would be of value. But the actual experience has been beyond anything I could have dreamed of,” says Tim Bousquet, editor and publisher of the Halifax Examiner. “Thanks to speaking with other media operators struggling to make sense of our industry, and especially thanks to working hand-in-hand with a coach who walked us through our challenges, the Examiner now has a deeper and more fruitful understanding of our business model, the approach to revenue, and how to prepare for the future and grow.”

These new and expanded programs build on our long-term support for Canadian news organizations of all sizes. In 2019 alone, Google sent five billion clicks to Canadian news sites, for free (an estimated half billion dollars in value, according to Deloitte). During the COVID-19 pandemic, our Journalism Emergency Relief Fund directly supported more than 200 different newsrooms across Canada to keep journalists working and Canadians informed. 

Today's news represents a shared goal that Google and news publishers in Canada are focused on – long-term success for journalism in Canada. That’s why Google is committed to playing a constructive role alongside publishers to enable a sustainable future for news that Canadians can depend on for years to come. 

We’re expanding our support of news in Canada

Access to trustworthy information is important to all of us, and it’s vital for society to continue supporting the reporters who work tirelessly to deliver us news. That’s why today we are announcing new investments to continue our support of Canadian newsrooms and journalists across the country. 

Support for Canadian journalism through News Showcase

We have signed agreements with a number of Canadian publishers for Google News Showcase, a product and licensing program that provides a space for newsrooms to curate their content for readers across Google News and Discover. These deals will help support Canadian newsrooms that provide comprehensive general-interest news to the communities they serve. This long-term investment will support news organizations in producing, distributing and explaining essential information to readers. The first Canadian partners for News Showcase are Black Press Media, Glacier Media, The Globe and Mail, Métro Média, Narcity Media, SaltWire Network, Village Media and Winnipeg Free Press.

Together, these eight publishers represent national, regional and local news that touches communities in both official languages from coast-to-coast-to-coast in Canada. Today’s announcement builds on News Showcase deals signed by nearly 800 news publications around the world. More than 90% of these publications represent local or regional news. 

This image shows the logos of Google’s current partners for News Showcase in Canada: Black Press Media, Glacier Media, The Globe and Mail, Métro Média, Narcity Media, SaltWire Network, Village Media and Winnipeg Free Press

 Logos of our current News Showcase news partners in Canada

As part of our licensing deals, we’re also paying news organizations for access to select paywalled content, giving Canadians access to a wide range of news content. We work closely with news outlets to determine the right amount of content to share to help drive subscriptions as users experience the benefits of subscribing to authoritative news outlets.

There will be more partnerships to come as we continue to engage in active negotiations with publishers across Canada. We look forward to launching News Showcase here soon. 

What publishers are saying about News Showcase


Expanded support through Google News Initiative 

News Showcase is just one part of our longstanding, overall commitment to the Canadian news industry. Today we are also announcing additional investments through our Google News Initiative, a global effort to help journalism thrive in the digital age: 

Training journalists in digital skills:Over the next three years we’ll train 5,000 Canadian journalists and journalism students on strengthening digital skills in newsrooms – a five-times increase from the 1,000 journalists we’ve already trained to date. 

Supporting business sustainability: We’ll expand our business-oriented workshops for small and mid-sized news organizations on topics including audience development, reader revenue and advertising revenue. The 10 sessions will be delivered in French and English and build upon our award winning News Consumer Insights tools.

We are introducing our first custom designed GNI Startups Boot Camp dedicated exclusively to aspiring Canadian news entrepreneurs starting a business or non-profit journalism project in Canada.  Applications open in the fall. 

Promoting news innovation: We are announcing our third North American Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge to fund selected projects focused on helping local publishers think about new ways to understand, enhance and serve the needs of their communities. Applications are now open

“When the Halifax Examiner joined GNI Startup Labs, I was cautiously optimistic that it would be of value. But the actual experience has been beyond anything I could have dreamed of,” says Tim Bousquet, editor and publisher of the Halifax Examiner. “Thanks to speaking with other media operators struggling to make sense of our industry, and especially thanks to working hand-in-hand with a coach who walked us through our challenges, the Examiner now has a deeper and more fruitful understanding of our business model, the approach to revenue, and how to prepare for the future and grow.”

These new and expanded programs build on our long-term support for Canadian news organizations of all sizes. In 2019 alone, Google sent five billion clicks to Canadian news sites, for free (an estimated half billion dollars in value, according to Deloitte). During the COVID-19 pandemic, our Journalism Emergency Relief Fund directly supported more than 200 different newsrooms across Canada to keep journalists working and Canadians informed. 

Today's news represents a shared goal that Google and news publishers in Canada are focused on – long-term success for journalism in Canada. That’s why Google is committed to playing a constructive role alongside publishers to enable a sustainable future for news that Canadians can depend on for years to come. 

A Challenge to understand the needs of local readers

How can local news publishers create the next generation of news products without knowing what their readers need? And how can they flourish without understanding the needs of the larger majority of community residents who do not read their work?

These are crucial questions, and we want to encourage local publishers to explore them in greater depth. Starting today, we are launching the third Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge in North America to help local publishers to think about new ways to understand, enhance and serve the needs of their communities.

We're inviting publishers to submit ideas for projects that will generate research approaches to better understand these local audiences in order to rethink product and overall strategy. 

Since 2019,Google News Initiative Innovation Challenges have supported 67 projects in Canada and the U.S. with over $11 million in funding. Past recipients include projects to tackle big challenges in local news and in diversity, equity and inclusion. California Independent Television Service (ITVS) producedan interactive survey tool designed to allow viewers to share feedback and interact in real time with fellow audience members. Save the Black Press, a project from Black Voice News, is building an open site to allow news organizations to access datasets about the Black population to produce more powerful stories and generate higher engagement with a more informed public.


Applications are open from now until August 26. Established local publishers, online-only players, news startups, academics, publisher collaborations and local industry associations are all eligible to apply. Projects will be evaluated against five criteria: 


  1. Research methodology

  2. The innovative nature of the approach to the research

  3. The potential for creating more diversity, equity and inclusion

  4. The publisher plans in using the research to communicate the value brought by their journalism

  5. The plan for sharing lessons with both the community and the wider industry 


We encourage applicants to think about collaborative approaches to their projects, and employ an iterative “test and learn” approach that leads to redefined priorities and product strategy. 

Selected projects will be eligible to receive up to $200,000, not to exceed 70% of the total project cost. Please see the website for full details and application process.

How to apply

Applications, in English or French, must be made online via our website and are open until Monday, August 26 at 23:59 GMT. We will also be holding an online town hall on July 1st at 9:00 a.m. Pacific time with a live presentation, including the opportunity to ask questions. (Please note that Google does not take any equity or IP in any projects or submissions.) 

We are looking forward to seeing new ideas, projects and big bets to come this round. For more information about the Challenge, visit g.co/newsinnovation.

Helping schools prepare for what’s next in education

Today at The Anywhere School, we shared great new ways to use Google Classroom, Google Workspace for Education, Google Meet, and Chrome OS - all focused on helping teachers and school leaders continue to do the amazing work they do.

Classroom is adapting for the future of learning and teaching

Classroom strives to be the simplest, easiest to use learning platform, but we’re continuously making improvements to make it even better. Roster Import will enable admins to set up classes at scale (and save a significant amount of time!) while Classroom add-ons will give educators a simple way to integrate their favorite content and activities. And the new student activity dashboard, the ability to schedule assignments across multiple classes and improvements to the Meet and Classroom integration will make it far easier to engage with students. Learn more in the Classroom blog.

Google Workspace for Education improves collaboration and security

Smart canvas makes Docs, Sheets and Slides more interactive and intelligent. With features like smart chips, checklists, table templates and assisted analysis, smart canvas enables stronger collaboration with anyone, from anywhere. We’re also strengthening the security of all Google Workspace for Education editions with Drive security improvements and additional advanced security for Education Plus and Education Standard customers. Learn more in the Workspace blog.

Google Meet is getting more secure, easy to use and engaging

Google Meet is adding features to continue supporting the evolving needs of school communities. Moderators and admins will have new controls, like the ability to force breakout room participants back into the main meeting and end any meeting from the investigation tool. Meet will also be easier to use now that it supports multiple moderators and the ability to pin multiple presenters at the same time. Video calls will be more engaging and inclusive with public live streaming to YouTube, hand-raising improvements and live translated captions. Learn more in the Meet blog.

Chromebooks get more personalized

As schools transition from shared Chromebook carts to assigned devices, they are also getting much easier to use and manage. Signing in securely is now a breeze with PIN logins. Admins can now easily see when Automatic Update Expiration dates are reached across their fleet with Chrome Insights Reports. And with new built-in accessibility features like Point Scanning mode with Switch Access, and the new panning method for the full-screen magnifier, teachers and students alike can present and access information in a way that works for them. Learn more in the Chromebook blog.

We are constantly humbled by the amazing ways educators use our tools to better collaborate, manage classes, and create safe learning environments. Whether you’re about to wrap up your school year or still have a few months left, we hope that by sharing these updates now, we can help you be better prepared to use these tools in your institution. To get regular product updates, please sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Twitter.

Classroom adapts for the future of learning and teaching

Over the last year, the use of education technology skyrocketed as schools hustled to keep students learning. As some students return to their classrooms and others continue learning from home, we’re optimistic about the role education technology can play to help teachers and school leaders as they make up for lost time. 

We saw Classroom become a center for teaching and learning for millions of teachers and students this year, with many schools now using Classroom as their learning management system (LMS). This was only possible thanks to the support and feedback of teachers around the world. We were amazed by how quickly they learned the tools and put them into practice. 

Change in education is inevitable. As the needs of institutions evolve, Classroom will keep pace. Today, we’re sharing some important updates to features we previously shared on our roadmap as well as some new ones we developed with input from teachers and education leaders: 

Roster import:Starting this summer, U.S. districts with Google Workspace for Education Plus will be able to automatically set up classes and keep rosters in sync with their Student Information System, powered by Clever. IT admins will be able to create and populate classes via Clever, saving teachers valuable prep time. 

Classroom add-ons:Coming to beta later this year for districts with the Teaching and Learning Upgrade or Education Plus, Classroom add-ons allow you to bring your favorite content and activities from top edtech tools right inside Classroom. Admins will be able to pre-install add-ons for multiple teachers or groups at once.

We’re starting with nine partners including Adobe Spark for Education, BookWidgets, CK-12 Foundation, Edpuzzle, IXL, Kahoot!, Nearpod, Newsela and SAFARI Montage, with plans to expand to many more. Here's an example of how Bookwidgets is using add-ons to make it  easier for teachers to assign an activity and students to complete it, without ever leaving Classroom.

Animated gif showing the Bookwidget add-on right inside Classroom.

Scheduling assignments across multiple classes:Coming later this year, this top-requested feature will help teachers and co-teachers easily schedule assignments to multiple classes. 

Animated gif showing scheduling assignments to multiple classes

Offline capabilities: Coming to the Classroom Android app in a few months, offline mode will allow students to start their work offline, review their assignments and attachments as well as  write assignments in Google Docs — all without an internet connection. 

Student engagement activity: Later this year, teachers will easily be able to see when a student was last active, including when they last submitted work or participated in the class through comments with a student engagement activity dashboard.

Animated gif showing the student engagement activity in a class dashboard.

Google Meet in Classroom: In the coming months you’ll see updates to how teachers can use Google Meet in Classroom, making it easier, safer and more secure. First, all co-teachers in a class will also automatically be co-hosts in the meeting, and only students listed in the Classroom roster will be able to join the Meet. Next, students will have to sit in a “waiting room” until a teacher has joined the meeting link. And finally, guests outside the class roster will have to “ask to join” so no unwanted participants get into meetings. 

Educators' feedback makes Classroom better every year. With your feedback and insights, we’ll keep working together to make sure teaching and learning are possible for every teacher and student from every device anywhere in the world.

Google Meet is more secure, easy to use and engaging

Over the past year, video conferencing became essential for teaching, learning and staying connected. Whether you’re still teaching remotely, in a hybrid setting or have returned to in-person instruction, Meet provides an easy, reliable and secure way for your school community to connect. Today, we're announcing new features to Meet to continue supporting the evolving needs of school communities. 

Secure by design

Meetings initiated from Google Classroom will soon be safer and more secure by design, with these updates coming in the next few months: 

  • Every teacher and co-teacher in a Classroom class will be meeting hosts in Meet by default, so multiple teachers can share the load of managing a class.
  • Once a teacher is present, students who are on the Classroom roster will be automatically admitted to the meeting. Students will be placed into a “waiting room” and won't be able to see or communicate with other participants until a teacher is present.
  • Anyone who’s not on the Classroom roster will have to “ask to join” and only the teacher(s) can allow them into the meeting.

All meetings, including those started from Meet or Calendar, will get the following additional security updates in the coming months: 

  • When a host ends breakout rooms, participants will get a warning and then will be forced back into the main meeting.
  • Hosts can match the breakout room safety settings with the safety settings from the main meeting.
  • To quickly prevent distractions, hosts will be able to turn off everyone’s video at once with “video lock.” 
  • For hosts using tablets and mobile phones, we’re adding important meeting safety controls, like the ability to end meetings for everyone on the call and mute everyone at once. 
Google Meet and Google Classroom integration

Improved integration makes meetings started from Classroom safer and more secure by default  

In Meet, participants are forced back into the main meeting when breakout rooms end

When hosts end breakout rooms, participants will be forced back into the main meeting

To give admins more control, starting this month we’re adding settings to the Admin console so school leaders can set policies for who can join their school’s video calls and whether people from their school can join video calls from other schools. This helps admins create the right boundaries for different aged students, facilitate external speakers and more. Note that this update doesn't change your default experience — your experience will only change if your admin changes the current setting. Admins will also soon have a new setting to control whether Quick access is enabled by default, and another setting to control whether people can use the chat in meetings. 

And in the coming weeks, admins with Education Standard and Education Plus can end any meeting in their organization directly from the investigation tool, and Quick access will be automatically turned off so nobody can rejoin the meeting without the host present.

An admin ending meetings in their organization directly from the investigation tool

Admins can end any meeting in their organization directly from the investigation tool

Easier to use

To make it easier for you to connect with your students while presenting, we recently rolled out a refreshed Meet experience that allows you to see your presentation content and students at the same time. You can unpin your presentation or minimize your self feed to see more of your students on the call, and names are always visible so you can see who’s who. You can also use different layout options to customize what you want to focus on.

New Google Meet user experience showing how to unpin your presentation

The refreshed user interface makes it easier to engage with your students while presenting

We also recently announced that meetings not initiated from Classroom will soon start supporting multiple hosts, making it easier for you to partner with other people helping manage a class. You’ll be able to choose co-hosts in meetings, and all meeting hosts will have access to safety controls. Multiple hosts will be rolling out in the coming months.

Adding a co-teacher as a co-host in Google Meet

Add co-hosts to share the load of managing class 

More engaging and inclusive for all types of learners

We recently launched an improved hand-raise icon and sound so students can participate with even more confidence, and teachers can more easily see and hear who raised their hands. People who raise their hands show up in the grid and there is a persistent notification so you can see how many people raised their hands and in what order. And once a student with a raised hand is done talking, their hand automatically lowers.

Improved hand-raising experience with a new icon and sound

An improved hand-raising experience makes it easier for students to engage with confidence

Meet now supports closed captions in five languages so people can more easily follow along and stay engaged. And in the coming months, you’ll be able to pin multiple tiles to customize what you want to focus on. For example, students can easily pin a sign language interpreter and the teacher so they can see both at the same time.

Pinning multiple participants in Google Meet

Pin multiple tiles to customize what you want to focus on

For educators with the Teaching and Learning Upgrade or Education Plus, we’re introducing features that take engagement and inclusivity to the next level. Later this year, Meet will offer live translated captions. With live translations enabled, you can listen to someone speaking one language and see real-time captions in another language. We expect this will be especially helpful in multilingual classrooms or when meeting with parents who speak a different language.

Live translated captions from English to Spanish

Make classes and conversations more accessible with live translated captions 

In the coming months, you’ll be able to use closed captions during livestreams. You’ll also soon be able to host public livestreams streamed right to YouTube so anyone outside of your institution can attend, ideal for school board meetings, school events and more. Public live streaming will be rolling out in beta later this year and will be widely available for customers with the Teaching and Learning Upgrade or Education Plus in early 2022. 

Creating a public livestream in Google Meet

Host school board meetings, events and more with public livestreams on YouTube

Using Meet beyond distance learning

We’ve been inspired to see how educators are using Meet to improve the student learning experience, professional development and engage their whole school community. As the needs of school communities change, Meet will keep adapting to help people teach, learn and stay connected — whether they’re remote or in person.