Last month, Google launched breakout rooms in Google Meet to aid distance learning during these times of the coronavirus pandemic. But now, the company is expanding this feature’s availability to more Google Workspace customers. In addition to Enterprise for Education customers, this feature will now be available to Google Workspace, Essentials, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, and G Suite Business customers. However, breakout rooms will not be available to Workplace Business Starter, G Suite Basic, Education, and Nonprofits customers.
The breakout rooms feature allows moderators to divide meeting participants into smaller groups during video calls. While bringing this feature to more customers, Google is also adding a bunch of new features and improvements to breakout rooms. Recently, the company added a new feature that allows users to raise hand in Meet if they want to speak. Here is what the workspace customers will get.
Breakout Rooms New Features
Break rooms have received three new features along with the expansion to more customers. Now, participants in breakout rooms can ask moderators for help, and the moderator will be able to see the request from the moderator panel. From there, the moderators can choose to join the breakout room too. Another feature that comes to breakout rooms is the timer/countdown feature. With this, the meeting moderators can set up a timer for a breakout session.
On the other hand, participants will see a banner that shows how much more time they have remaining and will get an alert when there are 30 seconds left. In these 30 seconds, the participants can wrap up their discussion, and when the time is over, they’ll be prompted to go back to the main video call. Next, there’s another feature that supports dial-in phone participants in breakout rooms. As per Google, there will be an option to add anonymous users to breakout rooms in two weeks.
Currently, one Google Meet call allows moderators to create up to 100 breakout rooms, and participants get randomly distributed across these rooms. However, moderators have an option that lets them manually move the participant from one breakout room to another.