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Google makes advanced video chat features free through September

The search giant began offering Google Meet's premium features for free to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers last month.

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Premium add-ons include the ability to hold meetings with up to 250 participants.
James Martin/CNET

Google Meet's premium features will now be available for free to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers until Sept. 30. The company on Thursday said it's extending the offer, which was originally set to end on July 1, to support people working and learning from home during the coronavirus pandemic. The high-end add-ons include the ability to hold larger meetings, with 250 participants, and to record and save meetings.

Google's teleconferencing tool, called Google Meet, has seen a surge in usage fueled by lockdowns due to the coronavirus. Earlier this week, the company said Google Meet is adding more than 2 million new users a day worldwide as people look for ways to keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues while staying at home.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, has rapidly spread across the globe. The World Health Organization on March 11 declared the outbreak a pandemic. There are now over 1.6 million confirmed cases globally, with more than 466,000 in the US as of Friday.

Google on Thursday also noted that it's officially dropping "Hangouts" from the Google Meet name, helping separate the enterprise product from its consumer services. 

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