Google Meet to bring back time limit on group video calls. Six things to know
- Google Meet has decided to end its limitless free group video call option
- Such calls were made free in 2020 as businesses went online during the pandemic
- Users will have to upgrade to a paid account to continue hosting such calls
Google Meet has decided to end its limitless free group video call option, a feature it had introduced in 2020 as businesses went online during the pandemic. It has now gone back to its pre-pandemic norm and brought back a time limit of 60 minutes for such calls. Users will now have to upgrade to a paid account to continue hosting unlimited group video calls with three or more participants.
However, things remain the same for individual users as they will still be able to take one-on-one calls for up to 24 hours. The time limit was first lifted in April 2020 but Google kept on extending the deadline as the pandemic wreaked havoc all over the world. The deadline was then extended to September 30, March 31, 2021 and then finally to June 30.
The offer has not been extended beyond June 30 but no formal date for the resumption of the paid feature has been announced yet.
Google Meet, previously known as 'Hangouts Meet', serves more than 100 million users every day, including G Suit enterprise and corporate clients. In April 2020, Google CEO Sunder Pichai had said that the service was adding 3 million users per day.
Here's all about the new feature:
- Google Meet's unlimited group video call service, which was earlier a paid feature, was made free during the pandemic as all work shifted online. The company is now going back to paid service.
- All participants in a group call will get a notification at 55 minutes that the call is about to end. To extend the call, the host has the option of upgrading their Google account.
- If no action is taken, the call will end at 60 minutes.
- This feature does not apply to meets figuring up to three participants
- The Google Meet Help website also mentions an upgrade, which according to reports will cost $9.99 (roughly Rs. 745) per month in the US.
- Google Workspace subscribers will continue getting the unlimited group calling feature.