Online conferences could finally be about to reach their potential thanks to an upgrade to Google Meet.
The video conferencing platform has announced support for "breakout rooms", where participants can depart from a main call to join an entirely seperate conversation.
The feature, first announced earlier this year, will allow Google Meet to support up to 100 breakout rooms per call, allowing businesses to have a whole range of options available for events.
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Google Meet breakout rooms
The update also brings a number of additional features to allow users to get the most out of the new Google Meet breakout rooms.
This includes a new "ask for help" tool that lets participants request assistance when they are in a breakout room, with the moderator able see the request from the moderator panel and then join the specific chat.
Moderators can also set up a countdown timer for a breakout session, letting participants know how much time they have left. This will send an alert when there are 30 seconds left, allowing participants to wrap up the discussion and, when time is up, participants will be prompted to go back to the main call.
Anyone dialling in on via a phone can also now be assigned to breakout rooms, and anonymous users will also soon be able to be added to breakout rooms.
The Google Meet update was initially only available to Enterprise for Education customers, as Google looks to help aid schools, univerisities and other educational insitutions encourage distance learning.
However the platform is now also open to Meet to Workspace, Essentials, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, and Enterprise Plus customers, as well as G Suite Business and Enterprise for Education customers.
This means that Workspace Business Starter, G Suite Basic, Education, or Nonprofits customers will still need to wait to experience the new platform.
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Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.