After a series of shootings and explosions occurred in Paris Friday evening, Google has made calls to France via its Hangouts service temporarily free. Callers can use the Hangouts app on Android, iOS, and the web to place calls to the country without incurring the normal international charges. The Google+ post making the announcement did not specify any particular countries, so presumably free calls are available from any location where Hangouts can be used. It’s not clear if Google Voice users are also being given free calls.
Google’s altruistic move following the attacks in Paris was mirrored by other web companies like Facebook, which activated a “safety check” function and allowed Parisians to check in and let their friends and family know that they are safe. Social media activity during and after the shootings included the hashtag #PorteOuverte (“open door”), letting locals know locations where they could find shelter and assistance. The Android Police team members send our thoughts to the victims of last night’s attacks, and to their families.