Google Meet Places One-Hour Cap on Group Video Calls for Non-Paying Users
Google has brought in 60-minute group video call limits for Google Meet users with free Gmail accounts, according to recently updated support pages (via 9to5Google).
The Meet service was originally exclusive to paying G-Suite members, but "unlimited" (up to 24 hour) group calls were made available for free to all users with a Google account in April 2020, in order to see off competition from Zoom and to help mitigate the impact of the global health crisis on work and relationship patterns.
The 60-minute limit was originally scheduled to come back into effect at the end of September 2020, but Google moved the deadline to March 2021, and then again to June 30, in response to changing circumstances.
Google will continue to allow non-paying users to make one-on-one calls for as long as they want, but longer group calls will require the $7.99 monthly cost of a Google Workspace subscription for individuals.
Going forward, free Gmail account holders will get a notification at 55 minutes that their Meet group call is about to end. To extend the call, the host can upgrade their Google account. Otherwise, the call will end at 60 minutes.
Google Meet offers many of the features that have made Zoom and Microsoft Teams so popular with both business and non-business users over the last year, including video conferencing for up to 100 participants, the option to schedule meetings, and screen-sharing capabilities.
Anyone interested in using Google Meet can download the Meet iOS app from the App Store or head to meet.google.com to use the web browser version.
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