In April, Google announced that it would allow anybody with a Google account to be able to create free meetings of up to 100 people on Google Meet for an undefined duration. The company earlier said that the promo offering unlimited-length meetings on Google Meet will end after September 30th. On the last day of its free offer, Google has announced an extension to the ongoing benefits until March 31, 2021. But this time around, the company has put a cap on the call duration from unlimited to 24 hours.
“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. 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 Meet Product Manager, Samir Pradhan, said in a blog post.
Currently, all Google account users can create free meetings with up to 100 people for an unlimited time, but it will be limited to 24-hours starting tomorrow. Prior to the offer, users who haven't paid for the Google Meet plan were not allowed conference calls over 60 minutes.
Google in April, announced that all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers will be able to host meetings via Meet with up to 250 participants, live-stream to up to 100,000 people within a single domain, and save meeting recordings to Google Drive. These features are typically only available to people on the “enterprise” tier of G Suite, which costs the highest among all plans.
Google took these steps in the wake of the pandemic and to take on its rival video conferencing app Zoom, which exploded due to the sudden shift to remote work and schooling. Biggies like Microsoft, Google, and Facebook made some significant updates to their respective video conferencing services as millions turned to Zoom to hold virtual get-togethers, casual and office work and much more.