Microsoft, Google offer free Skype, Hangouts calls to France for few days

16 Nov 2015


Following the recent Paris terrorist attacks (See: France under emergency: terrorists kill over 120 in multiple attacks), technology giants like Google and Microsoft have pitched in to help. The tech giants are offering Skype and Hangout calls free for a few days.

Skype said in a a blog post, ''In light of the devastating events that have taken place in Paris, we want to help people stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues. So, with immediate effect we are making all domestic and international calls to landlines and mobiles in France free of charge for the next few days.''

This would however, exclude calls made to special, premium service and non-geographical numbers. However, internet and mobile fees would apply.

Similarly, in a Google+ post, the search giant announced that calls made to France via Hangouts app would be free of the international charges. The post read, ''We're thinking of you, Paris. No fees on calls to France, via Hangouts.

Google has not added any geographical restrictions and it could therefor be assumed that the calls could be made from anywhere in the world.

Further, Facebook also activated its Safety Check tool in Paris after the terror attacks.

Facebook's move to activate its tool, which was meant for natural disaster prone areas to help people inform their friends that they were fine, had been praised a lot on social media.

However, the decision to not activate it for Beirut terror attack, led to a lot of people to questioning the social networking site.

Safety Check was not activated in Lebanon on Thursday, which saw a double suicide bombing attack in Beirut in which 43 died while over 200 suffered injuries.

In France, Twitter established the the hashtag  @PorteOuverteFRA to check if the anyone needed a place to spend the night at the homes of volunteers who opened their doors to the victims and relatives.

"Social media has become an important environment not just for socializing casually, but also for offering support, spreading the latest news, organizing volunteer efforts and keeping tabs on loved ones in times of great distress, such as the recent attacks in Paris," Tech Times reported.

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