Google Hangouts Now Allows You To Make Free One Minute International Calls
Google has announced that users of Hangouts app will be able to make one minute free international calls. Users in 25 countries listed by Google will get the first minute free on international calls they make via the app.
Before this announcement, Google’s Hangouts app designed for both desktops and mobiles provided instant access to video, instant messaging, and chat calls to phone numbers with the use of an internet connection. Free calls apply to people living in the United States and Canada. With this development, users in the listed countries now have the opportunity to send urgent messages at no cost.
How it works
Users are required to have some calling credit on their Google account in order to benefit from the one minute free call. This is considered necessary because they will be charged for any call that exceeds the first minute. Calling credit can be added with user’s credit card.
However, users are better off not using their data connection to make a phone call as they may incur mobile phone data charges from their local providers. To deal with this situation, a user is advised to use a “WiFi or data connection (like 4G) through Hangouts on iOS devices. If you have a Google Voice number, you can also receive calls”
Once a call is initiated in any of those countries, the ‘first minute free’ sign is indicated on the screen, after which regular charges will apply from the second minute. Users also need to install the Hangouts Dialer app on their enabled device to make voice calls via Hangouts.
“For the rest of 2014, the first minute of most calls to 25 countries are free, and you’ll be charged for each minute after. Calls where the first minute are free will say, “First minute free” on the call screen. If you don’t see this message, you’ll be charged for the first minute.”
Countries that can benefit from the first minute free call being provided by Google Hangouts include; Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States.
Google however, warns that users planning to make multiple short one minute calls should have a rethink as they can only make one call at a time. The free one minute call might be revoked by Google if the system discovers that a user is trying to ‘game’ it.
“Make one call at a time. If you try to make more than one call at the same time through Hangouts, only one of them will get the first minute free.”