(Pocket-lint) - Video conferencing is very much on the rise, now a regular feature of both working and social lives.

Blurring the background is a popular option for many people because it can protect your privacy, or it can just hide the fact that you're working in a basement or shed. The same is true of adding a virtual background, letting you have a little fun, or just to replace your messy spare room with something that's much more impressive.

Google Meet background blur 

The option blur the background on Google Meet is a recent addition, while companies like Zoom have offered this for some time. Fortunately, turning it on is really easy.

  1. Open your Google Meet via meet.google.com.
  2. Click the logo in the bottom right-hand corner.
  3. A panel will drop down offering bluring and virtual background options.
  4. Pick either a slight blur or a heavy blur by clicking the buttons.
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It's as simple as that. As Google Meet doesn't have any complex user interface, you don't have do dive into the menus, but if you do, you can also find the option there.

How to use a virtual background in Google Meet

The process for selecting a virtual background is essentially the same as to have a blurred background in Google Meet.

  1. Open your Google Meet via meet.google.com.
  2. Click the logo in the bottom right-hand corner.
  3. A panel will drop down offering bluring and virtual background options.
  4. Pick the background you want to use, or hit the + button to upload your own background.

That's it! It's really very simple.

How to use video filters in Google Meet

If you want to do something a little more exciting than just change the background, you can also use video filters. Google doesn't supply any video filters itself, but you can set Google Meet to use an alternative camera, like Snap Camera. Once you've installed Snap Camera you just have to head to the settings and select Snap Camera as your default camera.

There's a full guide to Snap Camera and how to get it working with Google Meet here.

When will I get Google Meet background blur? 

Google confirmed that G Suite would get access to the feature from 15 September 2020 for rapid release domains, and 28 September for scheduled release domains. There's no admin for it, it just works.

Google Meets users with personal accounts also get access - and at the time of writing we have the services on both G Suite and private Google accounts - so you should too.

Writing by Chris Hall.