Google has opened a channel over which people from all over the world can make free Google Hangouts calls to Belgium following the terrorist attack in Brussels that left at least 34 people dead and over 250 injured.
Google has also opened up two other channels that will also help people reach their loved ones in Turkey, another country that was also hit by terrorists in the recent weeks.
According to Google, any person making a call to any of these two countries via any of Google Hangouts, Google Voice or Hangouts Dialer will not be charged anything.
Does it help?
The fact that Google Hangouts calls are now free to Belgium and Turkey is great as people can now know the whereabouts of their loved ones following these deadly attacks. However, the question is does this help or make any difference?
Google Hangouts calls are usually free to anywhere as along as both parties are using the same application. However, since making calls over the internet requires stable internet connections at both ends, it might be problematic for people in Brussels given the current situation.
As far as Hangouts Dialer is concerned, users need Google credits in order to place calls, with the recipient only requiring a working phone. This is the same thing as Skype Out and Viber Out, for comparison purposes. This is where Google’s latest channel comes into play as users will not need to have credits in order to call phone numbers based on Belgium and Turkey.
In addition, making any calls to landlines in these regions as well as Belgium’s major wireless carriers is now free of charge. Whether you are using an Android or iOS app or even doing it from the desktop interface, this offer will apply.
More information through Google Now cards
In addition to coming in with free Google Hangouts calls, the company will also be providing people with more information regarding the transport system in Brussels. This comes after the attacks crippled the city’s transport system, which means dwellers are finding it hard to locate a working transport system.
This information, in addition to a direct link to the country’s Crisis Centre, will be availed via the Google Now cards.
Google now joins Facebook, which already opened up the Safety Check feature in the region and other platforms in opening up communication channels between those in the Belgium and Turkey attacks and the rest of the world. The ISIS has claimed to be behind the twin attacks that took place in Belgium.