According to support pages spotted by 9to5Google, the tech giant - Google has brought an end to its unlimited group calls in the Meet platform for free Gmail accounts. People with free accounts logging on to the forum will have group calls capped at an hour rather than the former 24-hour meeting duration. Google's unlimited group meeting offer was helpful as several traditionally in-person functions shifted to online because of the pandemic.
Not having to worry about the call cutting out or creating new meeting links means one could leave the video call on during extended family get-togethers. In addition, Meet was opened up to non-enterprise people in April 2020 to enhance competition with Zoom, & at the time, the tech giant promised to keep unlimited meetings in place until 30th September 2020.
The firm later extended that window into 2021 March, & then again until the June end. Google still permits one-on-one calls to last as long as we need. Still, heading into the second Covid-19 summer, unlimited group calls will now charge extra - like $7.99 per month subscription to Google's workspace individual tier & $9.99 per month after 2022 January.
Like Google, Zoom's one-on-one calls are free & unlimited, but group calls have been handled differently. This platform has periodically expanded beyond its 40 minutes meeting liming during certain holidays such as New Year's Eve, Christmas & Hanukkah. Microsoft Teams, Meet & Zoom all initiated out as business communications networks adopted by non-business people in the early days of the Covid-19. Now that a few of the freebies are going away, it will be interesting to see which services users stick with.
Image source: Google.com