Google Meet was rushed out to meet the video conferencing needs of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the service’s launch offered a deal for free users: a 24-hour video call limit for group calls. Today, 9to5Google confirmed that Google’s pandemic promotion is over and that Google Meet is now limiting free users to 1-hour group video calls.
Meet was originally supposed to have unlimited video calls from its April launch to September 30, 2020, but Google has extended the deadline twice. Google Meet’s new monetization plan is outlined in these two support documents.
The status of the meeting host determines the limits for video calls. Free users can have 1-on-1 video chats for 24 hours, and group calls are limited to 100 participants and 60 minutes. After 55 minutes you will get a warning message. Google’s paid account offering, Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), has many tiers that override these requirements. The lowest tier of Google Workspace, the “Business Starter” tier of $6 per user per month, overrides the time limit. The “Business Standard” tier of $12 per user per month takes you up to 150 participants and adds additional features such as noise cancellation, show of hands, breakout rooms, and meeting recording. Workspace’s $18 “Business Plus” tier adds attendance and a limit of 250 participants.
Google Meet’s free tier is slightly more generous than Zoom’s free tier, which limits 100 participants to 40-minute meetings, just enough to not fill a standard 60 minute calendar block. Microsoft Teams also did away with a 100-person, 60-minute limit for free users. Business users will probably be fine with a 60-minute limit, but not a 40-minute limit, as many companies try to run meetings under an hour anyway. Google Hangouts, the video calling solution that replaced Meet, was free and supported 25 people, with no time limit.