Tech giant Google has decided to enforce a 60-minute time limit on free unlimited group calls of Google Meet. In other words, free Google workspace users will now no longer be able to host meetings for more than 60 minutes with three or more participants.
In April 2020, Google Meet was made available to all users in lieu of Enterprise or Education customers to help users working/studying from home due to COVID-19 and compete with rivals like Zoom and Skype who were offering many benefits to users.
The video calling service had also lifted the 60-minute time limit on calls and made it limitless for any number of participants.
Back then, Google said that it wouldn’t enforce a 60-minute time limit on calls and the calls could run all day long until September 30th. However, the search giant later extended the deadline for free unlimited group calls to March 31, 2021, and then again to June 30th.
“Calls with 3 or more participants for up to 60 minutes,” reads the now updated guidelines mentioned on the Google Meet Help website.
“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.”
The change in guidelines doesn’t affect Google Meet users taking one-on-one calls on free and enterprise accounts, but only users in group calls. In other words, there is no time limit for individual users, as they can take one-on-one calls for up to 24 hours.
The Google Meet Help website also mentions that users who wish to host unlimited group video calls with 3 or more participants need to upgrade to the Google Workspace Individual subscription plan at $9.99 (currently it is being offered at a discounted price of $7.99) per month.
If the meeting hosts upgrade to the paid plan, they will be able to host calls for up to 24 hours without any limitations. This plan is currently available in five countries, which include the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Japan.