Culture 2 min read

Why Premium Version of Hangouts Meet is now Free

OpturaDesign / Shutterstock.com

OpturaDesign / Shutterstock.com

Google is waiving the fees on the premium version of Hangouts Meet to help businesses and schools work remotely in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Google has recently announced that it’s waiving the fees on the premium version Hangouts Meet. Here’s why.

Schools have remained closed in several countries across the world due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Fifty-six countries across the globe have closed schools nationwide, according to UNESCO. Unsurprisingly, this disruption in education has already affected over 516.6 million children and youth.

Another 17 countries have implemented localized school closures that’ll eventually become nationwide. And this could potentially impact more than a hundred million learners in the world.

As a result, the Chinese government has launched a cloud-based learning platform. But there’s another option.

According to Google, over a hundred thousand students have turned to G Suite tools to continue schooling from home. These include the Hangouts Meet — a video-conferencing tool available to all G Suite users — and Google Classroom.

Now, these programs are available for free.

Using the Premium Version of Hangouts Meet For Free

To help businesses and schools remain connected during this period, Google is making these tools available for free.

In a blog post announcement, General Manager and VP of G Suite, Javier Soltero said:

“Starting this week, we will begin rolling out free access to our advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers globally.”

According to Google, the paid version of Hangouts Meet will be available for free until July 1, 2020. During this period, schools will have access to premium features which include:

  • An increased limit of 250 participants per call
  • Live streaming for as much as 100,000 viewers within a domain
  • Ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive

Google said that it wants to ensure that remote workers in different parts of the world can also reliably meet face to face. As such, businesses will also have access to these premium features.

Along with holding large meetings online at zero cost, businesses can also give company-wide presentations. What’s more, they can save the sessions for others to view at a later date.

These useful features are typically reserved for the Enterprise edition of G Suite, as well as the G Suite Enterprise for Education.

Read More: Coronavirus Concern: Google Cancels Annual I/O Developer Conference

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