Google decided to make Google Meet free because of the increased demand for video conferencing apps due to the pandemic. Google clarified that this was only temporary and the duration limit for free Gmail accounts would return in the future.
The original deadline was set for September 2020, but Google extended it several times during the course. But at last, the unlimited group calling for free accounts has finally come to an end.
9to5Google reports that Google has brought back the duration limit for Google Meet users with free Gmail accounts. If you’re not a paid Google Workspace user, Google now caps your group Meet calls to 60 minutes. Google says users will be notified at 55 minutes that their buzz is about to end. After 60 minutes, the call will automatically terminate, forcing the user to create another Google Meet link should they resume the conversation.
Alternatively, you can upgrade your account to Google Workspace Individual plan, which just went live in five countries. The programs launched at $9.99 a month, but Google is offering a flat 20% discount until Jan 2022, so you can get it for $7.99 per month right now. Not only will it remove the duration limit for group calls, but you also get access to premium features like noise cancellation, the ability to record Meet calls, breakout rooms, polls, and much more.
Google has already updated its support page for Google Meet to reflect the change.
At 55 minutes, everyone receives a notification that the call is about to end. By upgrading their Google account, the host can extend the call. Otherwise, the call will end after 60 minutes.
For what’s it worth, one-on-one calls are exempt from the duration limit and can go on for 24 hours straight without interruption for both free and enterprise accounts.