For free users, Google is limiting Meet’s formerly limitless group video chats to an hour

According to support pages found by 9to5Google, Google has ended its practically “unlimited” group video chats in Meet for free Gmail users. Users with free Meet accounts will now have their group calls limited to one hour instead of the prior 24-hour meeting time. 

Because of COVID-19, many typically in-person functions migrated online. Google’s unlimited group meeting offer proved useful. You could leave your video call on throughout long family gatherings because you didn’t have to worry about it cutting out or generating new meeting ties. 

Meet was made available to non-enterprise customers in April of last year in order to compete with Zoom, and Google claimed at the time that limitless meetings would be available until September 30th, 2020. 

Later, the firm extended the window until March 20, 2021, and then again until June 30, 2021. Longer group calls will now cost more — like a presently $7.99 per month membership to Google’s Workspace Individual tier ($9.99 per month after January 2022) — as the second epidemic summer approaches. 

Zoom’s one-on-one conversations are limitless and free, much like Google’s, but group calls are handled differently. During holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s Eve, Zoom has occasionally exceeded its 40-minute meeting limit. 

In the early days of the epidemic, non-business users adopted Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams, which began out as corporate communications tools. It’ll be fascinating to see which services people remain with now that some of the freebies are gone. 

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