Video meetings are likely to remain a permanent feature of work as businesses around the world move to a hybrid working model. And that means seemingly small features like 'raise hands' in a group meeting are also important.
Google has now updated Google Meet with minor tweaks that will make it easier to notice and address raised hands through a clearer animation. It should also help social cohesion in video meetings with many participants, so it's a small but important change.
On the bottom left of the meeting screen, there's now a hand icon that expands to display the name of the participant who's raising their hand to speak.
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The update also lets participants move the tiles of people with raised hands to be more visible in the group meeting video grid.
Google Meet will also create an audio notification for all participants when the first raised hand is raised.
And there's a clickable notification that shows the number of raised hands as well as links to an ordered queue of everyone with raised hands. The raised hand participant is automatically lowered after they speak.
This feature is one for Google's business workspace customers and is not available to consumers with a personal Google account.
It will be available in meetings organized by users with Workspace Essentials, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Plus, Nonprofits, as well as G Suite Business customers, according to Google.
It's not available in meetings organized by someone on Google Workspace Business Starter, G Suite Basic, or users with personal Google Accounts.
Microsoft has also been refining its raised hands feature for Microsoft Teams while bulking up the number of people that can be seen in tiles on the screen. Zoom offers the same feature for group meetings, too. There are quirks to all versions of it. Zoom users on Reddit have complained that it's annoying having to constantly move tiles around with raised hands.