Google Meet was rushed out the door to meet the video-conferencing needs of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the service’s launch presented a deal for free users: a video call limit of 24 hours for group calls. Today, 9to5Google confirmed that Google’s pandemic promotion is over, and Google Meet now limits free users to 1-hour group video calls.
Meet was originally supposed to have uncapped video calls from its April launch until September 30, 2020, but Google ended up extending the deadline twice. Google Meet’s new monetization plan is laid out across these two support documents.
The meeting host’s status determines the video call limits. Free users can do 1-to-1 video chats for 24 hours, and group calls are capped at 100 participants and a 60-minute duration. At 55 minutes, you’ll get a warning message. Google’s paid account offering, Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), has many tiers that lift these requirements. The lowest tier of Google Workspace—the $6 per user, per month “Business Starter” level—will lift the time limit. The $12 per user, per month “Business Standard” level will bump you up to 150 participants and add extra features like noise cancellation, hand raising, breakout rooms, and meeting recordings. The $18 “Business Plus” tier of Workspace adds attendance tracking and a 250 participant limit.
Google Meet’s free tier is slightly more generous than Zoom’s free tier, which caps 100 participants at 40-minute meetings, just enough to not fill a standard 60-minute calendar block. Microsoft Teams also settled on a 100-person, 60-minute limit for free users. Business users will probably be OK with a 60-minute limit but not a 40-minute one, as many businesses try to keep meetings to under an hour anyway. Google Hangouts, the video call solution that Meet replaced, was free and supported 25 people, with no time limit.