Google Meet will no longer offer group calls without a duration limit as the company has now imposed new limitations on the use of the service by those using free Google accounts.
What is changing
Google has imposed a 60 minute time limit for calls with three or more participants. This means that if the organiser of the meeting has a free Gmail account, the meeting will have to end in an hour..
Google also said that after 55 minutes of the call, all the participants of the call will get 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 in 60 minutes,” said Google.
What is not changing
Google will continue to offer support of up to 24 hours for one-on-one calls for free Google account holders.
Why is Google making this change now
The internet search giant has been extending the support for offering free Google Meet calls for up to 24 hours every few months.
To recall, back in March 2020, Google had said that its Google Hangout features (which is now rebranded as Google Meet) will be free for all Gmail users. One month after that, Google announced that Google Meet would be available for free for all Google account users till September 30, 2020. Later, this deadline was extended to March 31, 2021. Then in March, the company again decided to extend the deadline again till June 2021.
Google hasn’t given any formal reason for not imposing a time restriction for group calls, but it does seem to be the way the company wants to ensure that more people upgrade to the Workspace Individual subscription plan.