Google Meet’s free unlimited video calls are already over as Google now puts a limit to free Gmail users. 9to5Google confirms this news that the pandemic promotion is now over. Moreover, free users now only have a 60-minute limit to their video calls. Here are the details of the said update.
Pandemic Promotion Is Over
Ever since the start of 2020 and pandemic happened, video conference apps such have been one of the essentials. This software, same with others like Zoom, was also used for connecting with friends, and virtual classes. And most especially, for working remotely. The significant increase of demand for video calls has prompted the tech giant to offer their pandemic promotion. This includes unlimited video calls, even to basic Gmail users.
This promotion extended a couple of times as Google originally scheduled this only until September 2020 from its launch in April same year. Again, due to an increase in demand, the company extended twice to March 2021 and finally June this year. Unfortunately, that extension will not be offered anymore. The developing situation of the pandemic crisis leads to some companies requiring employees to return to their offices. Consequently, it means that virtual meetings and conferences are not much used anymore. Google Meet’s new monetization plan is updated in their Help site.
What Else Is New?
As mentioned, the primary update with Google Meet’s services is the 60-minute limit imposed to free users. Take note that the meeting host’s subscription determines the limit of the calls. So if one of your friends has a Google Workspace account and you decide to catch up through video call, the limit will not be a problem for you.
For free Google Meet users, you can host one-on-one calls for up to 24 hours. On the other hand, group calls with 3 up to a maximum of 100 participants is up to the 60-minute limit. It is also indicated that everyone in the call will receive a notification (like a pop-up just like in Zoom) at 55minutes duration. Notifying participants that the call is about to end.
If this will not work for you, the company has more flexible offers you can avail as reported by Ars Technica. Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) lowest tier called “Business Starter” costs $6 monthly per user. And this also lifts the 60-minute limit. Other levels include:
- Business Standard – costs $12 monthly per user, increases the limit of group call participants to 150. also includes noise cancellation, hand raising, breakout rooms, and meeting recordings.
- Business Plus – costs $18 monthly per user, and has features such as attendance tracking and 250 participant-limit.
It may be not-so-good news for others due to people already used to video calls, not only for work purposes but for personal use. However, it is a must to remember that this promotion is supposed to end last year. Users used Meet features for more than a year already. Still, other platforms like Zoom have services that may also be suitable for your needs.