Google is extending its policy that lets free Google Meet users host calls for longer than 60 minutes. The policy was set to expire after September 30th, but now free users can host those longer calls through March 2021.
“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’s group product manager, Samir Pradhan, in a 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.”
The extension should come as a relief for those who have relied on the service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Google has steadily updated Google Meet this year to keep it competitive with other video conferencing services like Zoom, adding features such as a Zoom-like gallery view (which can now show up to 49 people at once) and background blur.
September 30th also marks when G Suite and G Suite for Education customers are set to lose free access to some advanced Google Meet features, such as hosting meetings with up to 250 participants and the ability to save meeting recordings to Google Drive. That free access is not being extended, Google confirmed to The Verge.