Google makes premium version of Hangouts Meet free for more extended time to facilitate business and schools during the COVID-19

Google is giving free access to the premium features of Hangouts Meet until September 30. The availability of the advanced tools is to help businesses and schools collaborate effectively in a remote environment during the coronavirus pandemic.

Initially, Google planned to make the premium version of Hangouts free until July 1. However, the company has decided to extend its availability until September 30 2020 in the wake of COVID-19.

The recent outbreak of coronavirus has led a major part of the world’s population to work remotely. Be it employees, educators, or students – everyone is trying to remain connected and productive from their homes. And Google aims to help them communicate efficiently.

Google’s software – Hangouts is a part of G Suite, along with Docs and Sheets. The basic version of the tools is free.

However, there is a premium or an enterprise version available as well that includes conference calls of up to 250 participants, live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers, and recording of virtual meetings. The advanced features are now made free by Google – amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Interestingly, the news by Google came well after the rival app – Zoom announced free tools for schools and users in China. And now Google is also doing its part in facilitating the users who are facing a lockdown in their region due to COVID-19. Google also shared tips and ideas for effective distance in its blog posts.

Studies have highlighted that, online communication tools including Zoom, Hangouts and even Skype are seeing a tremendous surge in their usage. Zoom also reported its record-breaking number of 200 million users in March from 10 million daily active users reported in December 2019.

Read next: Google Featuring a News Section of Coronavirus across All Its Provided Services
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