In the wake of the coronavirus, search engine giant Google helped to stem the tide of transmission by offering its G Suite and G Suite for Education customers access to Hangouts Meet’s premium functionality for free. The tool allows participation in virtual meetings with up to 250 people and live streams with up to 100,000 viewers.
“At least part of the decision to extend the functionality of Hangouts Meet comes out of recent usage stats Google has seen in places where there’s a good reason for people to stay home,” an Engadget article reported. “In Hong Kong and Vietnam, the company says it’s noticed “hundreds of thousands” of students use its Hangouts Meet and Classroom apps to keep up with their classes while schools are closed. The move should also help the company keep up with competitors like Zoom, which have seen the usage of their apps jump due to the crisis.”
Google CEO Sundar Pichai took to Twitter to announce free access to the company’s videoconferencing capabilities:
We want to help businesses and schools impacted by COVID-19 stay connected: starting this week, we’ll roll out free access to our advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities through July 1, 2020 to all G Suite customers globally. https://t.co/OWWF7s5jjR
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) March 3, 2020
3 ETFs to consider with Google exposure:
- Fidelity MSCI Communication Services Index ETF (NYSEArca: FCOM): seeks to provide investment returns that correspond generally to the performance of the MSCI USA IMI Communication Services 25/50 Index. The index represents the performance of the communication services sector in the U.S. equity market. It may or may not hold all of the securities in the MSCI USA IMI Communication Services 25/50 Index.
- Vanguard Communication Services Index Fund ETF Shares (VOX): employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the MSCI US Investable Market Index (IMI)/Communication Services 25/50. The index itself is made up of stocks of large, mid-size, and small U.S. companies within the communication services sector, as classified under the GICS. The Advisor attempts to replicate the target index by seeking to invest all, or substantially all, of its assets in the stocks that make up the index, in order to hold each stock in approximately the same proportion as its weighting in the index.
- Communication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLC): seeks to correspond generally to the price and yield performance of publicly traded equity securities of companies in the Communication Services Select Sector Index. The index includes companies that have been identified as Communication Services companies by the GICS®, including securities of companies from the following industries: diversified telecommunication services; wireless telecommunication services; media; entertainment; and interactive media & services.
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