Google Meet is expanding the availability of breakout rooms and bringing improvements to the feature. Breakout rooms will now be available for customers with Google Workspace plans. Meeting moderators can set timers for breakout sessions, dial-in participants can be assigned to the rooms, and participants can request for help. The breakout rooms feature, which allows moderators to divide participants into smaller groups during video calls, was launched last month but was limited to G Suite Enterprise for Education customers. It is now available for all eligible users.
With breakout rooms on Google Meet, educators with G Suite Enterprise for Education plans could split students up for simultaneous small group discussions or working time for the purpose of increased engagement. Moderators have the ability to monitor and participate in these discussions.
Google announced that users with Workspace Essentials, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, and Enterprise Plus plans will also have breakout rooms as a feature now, along with G Suite Business and Enterprise for Education customers.
Meeting moderators can also set a timer for a breakout session. Participants will be able to see a banner to keep track of how much time they have remaining and will also be alerted when there are 30 seconds left. When the time is up, participants will be prompted to go back to the main Google Meet video call.
Dial-in phone participants can also be assigned now to breakout rooms. Google also revealed that in two weeks, there will be an option to add anonymous users to breakout rooms.
It is possible to create up to 100 breakout rooms in one Google Meet call. Participants are randomly and equally distributed across rooms, but meeting moderators can also manually move people into different rooms.
Breakout rooms feature is still not available to customers with the following plans: Workspace Business Starter, G Suite Basic, Education, and Nonprofits.