September 30 was the day when the free unlimited access to Google Meet calls for free users would end. Everyone was reporting yesterday that by October 1, you will get the 60-minute limit if you’re not a subscriber. But it looks like Google had a change of heart as they have now announced they will not be imposing the one-hour limit but instead they are extending free access until March 2021. This is on top of the various features that they have been rolling out the past few weeks to get more users into the fold.
Zoom is still the top dog when it comes to video conferencing but ever since Google made Meet unlimited for free users, it also gained a bit of popularity especially for those that are into the Google ecosystem. Initially, the free access was only until September 30 so some who have gotten used to using the app for their long meetings or online classes or webinars were scrambling to find a replacement or to decide whether or not to upgrade to G Suite.
But now “as a sign of our commitment”, Google will be continuing their free unlimited Meet calls until March 31, 2021. Well, it isn’t technically unlimited since you only get 24 hours but hey, who wants to be in a meeting or a call that’s more than a day right? So those who prefer Meet for their book clubs, dance-offs, exercise together meetings, and other regular video calls, will not need to subscribe to G Suite to keep using it.
Google has been adding feature after feature to Meet to make it more appealing to users. In a span of a few weeks, they let you cast your calls to your TV, use background blur to hide the messy room you’re in, letting you see 50 people on screen at the same time, and have an almost real-life meeting experience with the digital whiteboard. They also recently added the ability to filter out background noise.
Of course, some of these features are for paid G Suite users while some are available for everyone. In any case, you still have 6 more months to enjoy these free video calls from Google Meet.