Hangouts MeetSource: Google

What you need to know

  • Google this week made a significant gesture toward helping combat the spread of the coronavirus.
  • It's making advanced video conferencing abilities previously exclusive to G Suite Enterprise available to all G Suite users for free.
  • The move is aimed at helping facilitate remote work so that the spread of the virus is contained.

Update: Google has now started rolling out the advanced Google Meet features to users, and is emailing G Suite admins of the change, along with instructions on how to avail its generous offer.

Original Story: As the rapid spread of the Wuhan coronavirus, officially called COVID-19, instigates fears of a global pandemic, Google has decided to chip in and help mitigate its spread. It's already dediced against holding its annual I/O developer conference this year, but it's also trying to help other organizations reduce physical contact between employees while ensuring they can still be productive.

Running till July 1, 2020, the company has announced that it'll make advanced video conferencing features exclusive to G Suite Enterprise and G Suite Enterprise for Education free for use by all G Suite and G Suite Education users.

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As more and more business encourage their employees to stay home and work remotely, the gesture is certainly much appreciated. In fact, even Twitter's CEO chimed in to thank Google (and Slack) for enabling the company to host its first, entirely virtual hands-on meeting today:

The above was made possible by the extra bandwidth G Suite Enterprise combined with Hangouts Meet offers. The extended capabilities Google is making available include:

  • Larger meetings, for up to 250 participants per call
  • Live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers within a domain
  • The ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive

The rollout of these features should begin this week and complete within 2-3 weeks. If you're a G Suite admin and would like to take advantage of Google's generosity and use these features to help create a remote-friendly environment, check out these support pages set up by the company.

Google clamps down on employee travel over coronavirus concerns

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