As a result of COVID-19, office employees and students are beginning to work remotely to help reduce the risk of spreading, and more are expected to join. Google today announced that it’s aiding the coronavirus relief effort by making premium Hangouts Meet features available for free to all G Suite customers.
According to the company, hundreds of thousands of students in Hong Kong and Vietnam are already using Hangouts Meet video conferencing and Google Classroom to “join classes and continue their schooling remotely from home” amid coronavirus-related closures.
Starting this week, larger meetings with up to 250 participants per call, live streaming to 100,000 viewers within a domain, and the ability to record and save calls to Google Drive will be made available to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers around the world. This includes the G Suite Basic, Business, and Nonprofit tiers, but users must be signed in with their non-Gmail account to access.
These features usually require the paid Enterprise and Enterprise for Education editions of G Suite, but will be free until July 1. By that time, most students should be out of school for the summer. This advanced functionality will begin rolling out today with full availability expected within 2-3 weeks.
We’re committed to supporting our users and customers during this challenging time, and are continuing to scale our infrastructure to support greater Hangouts Meet demand, ensuring streamlined, reliable access to the service throughout this period.
Meanwhile, Google’s Dublin office today worked remotely amid concerns about a possible case. It also serves as a test of how the company performs without extended face-to-face interaction.
We want to help businesses and schools impacted by COVID-19 stay connected: starting this week, we'll roll out free access to our advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities through July 1, 2020 to all G Suite customers globally. https://t.co/OWWF7s5jjR
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) March 3, 2020
More about Hangouts Meet:
- Hangouts Meet now supports Safari 13 and later on macOS
- Hangouts Meet for web gets Material Theme tweaks
- Google adds live captions to Hangouts Meet for Android
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