Google made unlimited Meet video calls for free when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, but the company never intended this feature to be available to everyone. The company originally wanted to introduce a long-planned 60-minute limit for free accounts in March this year, but then extended the deadline to June 2021. And well, there̵
As confirmed by 9to5Google, group conversations started by free Gmail users with three or more participants can now only last for a maximum of 60 minutes. Google has updated the associated help page, detailing that each participant will be notified in 55 minutes, warning them that the call will end soon. However, one-on-one conversations retain their old daily limit. If you regularly reach the limit, Google encourages you to upgrade to the Workspace Individual plan, which starts at $ 9.99 a month. Note that only the host needs to upgrade to take advantage of longer conversations; it does not matter whether the participants pay customers or not.
Depending on who and how many people you call at one time, Google’s own Duo app may be a good option in the future. The app allows video calls with up to 32 participants, is completely free to use, comes with fun filters and works on Chrome, iOS and Android. It may not have the same professional look as Meet shows, but let’s be honest – you’re probably much more likely to call friends and family for more than an hour. A work meeting that is supposed to last longer than 60 minutes sounds awful. Let’s just hope that Google does not end up folding Duo to Meet, as rumored last year.