Google is extending its unlimited time (up to 24 hours) video calls policy on Google Meet till March 31, 2021. Google had earlier set September 30 as the deadline for free users to conduct video calls on the app for longer than 60 minutes but is now extending the policy until March next year. Google account users can continue to use Google Meet to have video calls that extend up to 24 hours. Google Meet has experienced a surge in users after the coronavirus pandemic has pushed everyone to connect virtually.
Google said in a blog post that as video calls were playing a crucial role in helping people connect, it wanted to offer the best possible services for the same. Back in April, Google Meet had become free-to-use for all, allowing unlimited calls (up to 24 hours) until September 30.
Google has been adding features like noise cancellation, background blur, 49-person grid view, and Chromecast support to its video servicing platform. Google Meet experienced a surge of users during the coronavirus pandemic as people started to rely on virtual means of communication. It surpassed 100 million installs from Google Play in July.
“As we look ahead to a holiday season with less travel and important milestones like family reunions, PTA meetings and weddings hosted over video, we want to continue helping those who rely on Meet to stay in touch over the coming months,” said Google Meet group product manager Samir Pradhan in the blog post. “As a sign of our commitment, today we’re continuing unlimited Meet calls (up to 24 hours) in the free version through March 31, 2021, for Gmail accounts.”
Google said that with the extension, people with free Google accounts can enjoy the same benefits as its business users.
However, Google will not be extending the deadline for advanced features given to G Suite and G Suite for Education members like allowing meetings of up to 250 participants, live streams in a single domain of up to 100,000 people, and the ability to save meeting recordings to Google Drive.