In a welcoming gesture at trying times like these, Google today announced that it will provide free access to its ‘advanced’ Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers globally. The company is doing this in response to coronavirus’ impact on daily work and school routines, which have now become largely remote to stop further spread of infection.
Google’s GM and VP for G-Suite wrote in a blog post, “As more businesses adjust their work-from-home policies and adopt reduced travel plans in response to COVID-19, we’re helping to ensure that all globally distributed teams can still reliably meet face to face, even if employees are not in the same location.”
With access to the advanced version, users can now hold larger meetings, involving as many as 250 participants, all over a single video call. This will be specially useful for schools, allowing their teachers to teach large batches of students remotely. On top of that, the new advanced version will allow live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers within a domain.
Users will now also get the ability to record all of their meetings and save them to their respective google drives.
Google says, that it has witnessed how schools in Hong Kong and Vietnam have already been closed, and hundreds of thousands of students have started using both Hangouts Meet and Google Classroom to join classes and continue their schooling remotely from home. This led to Google ultimately opening up more advanced features for users as fears over more shutdowns due to coronavirus continue to loom large.
These features are typically available in the Enterprise edition of G Suite and in G Suite Enterprise for Education, and will be available at no additional cost to all customers until July 1, 2020.