Washington: Tech giant Google has brought an end to its unlimited group video calls in Meet for free Gmail accounts. Now users with free accounts logging on to the service will have group calls capped at an hour rather than the previous 24-hour meeting duration.
As per Mashable, Google Meet calls with three or more participants, any group video conference, basically, is now limited to 60 minutes for free users with personal Gmail accounts.
In view of the pandemic, Google had lifted this cap back in September 2020 but has now decided to reinstate it.
Over the past year, free Google Meet users with personal accounts have been able to take advantage of group calls on the platform without a time limit.
Google now noted that this is no longer the case as of July 1. The tech giant originally planned to enforce the time limit in September 2020 and then delayed it to March 2021.
Google then extended the deadline to March 31 but has not extended the deadline this time.
"Tip: At 55 minutes, everyone gets a notification that the 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 outlined.
Like Google, Zoom's one-on-one calls are unlimited and free, but group calls have been handled differently. Zoom has periodically expanded beyond its 40-minute meeting limit during specific holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year's Eve.
Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams all started out as business communications products that were adopted by non-business users in the early days of the pandemic.