Google Restricts Google Meet Call Duration For Free Accounts

After a generous free period for Google Meet calls over an hour, the company is starting to charge users for them again.
Jack Turner

Google is calling time on 24-hour long video calls using its Google Meet service for free users, at least for groups of people.

The company extended the free duration of its meetings within the service last year, when the pandemic broke, as a way to encourage communication between not only businesses, but also individuals.

The deadline for the trial has been extended several times over the past year, but now it seems the party is well and truly over (or at least limited to under an hour).

Google Meet's Free Trial

The pandemic last year saw many companies display an altruistic side, opening up their services for free, from everything to educational materials for children, telephone companies removing data caps, and even free food for essential workers.

With restrictions in place for face-to-face meetings, many video conferencing services experienced something of a boom, and suddenly a huge new market opened up for these companies – the general public. Sure, some already served them, such as Zoom, but others, like Google Meet, were only available to executive customers. In April 2020, Google announced that it was opening up Google Meet to everyone, and even better, it removed the standard one-hour cap for free users.

This was originally due to end in September 2020, but with no end in sight, it seems Google decided to keep its generous offer open. The deadline was moved to March 2021, and then June 2021. Now, according to Google's own support page, users will need to pay, if they want their calls to go beyond one hour, with a group call. One-on-one calls don't have the one hour restriction.

How Much Will Google Meet Cost Me?

If you're an individual that wants to keep on using Google Meet to catch up with friends and family without the time limit, you can expect to pay $8 per month for the service. This extends the call duration to 24 hours, and also opens up calls to up to 150 participants. Of course, if you don't want to pay, you could just hang up before your hour and call back – users receive an alert at the 55 minute mark that their call is about to terminate – but that could get a bit tiresome.

If you're a business, you can get a better deal on Google Meet for your team. Prices start at $6 per user per month, for the Starter tier, and increases relative to how many people you need to speak to at once, and for how long.

Read our full review of Google Meet

Of course, Google Meet isn't the only option in town, far from it. Competitors including Microsoft Teams, and of course, Zoom, are currently in fierce competition for our business.

You might be tempted to switch from Google Meet to a lesser known video conferencing option that is a little more generous with its time, but at Tech.co, we believe that it's worth paying a few bucks for the sake of your own data security, as well as customer support, something which you can't guarantee with some smaller, free alternatives.

0 out of 0
Best for
Free plan
Price from
The lowest starting price for a paid plan. The lowest price available for your business will depend on your needs.
Pros
Cons

GoToMeeting

Zoom

RingCentral

Webex

Google Meet

Microsoft Teams

Lifesize

UberConference

BlueJeans

Overall conference calling

Beginners

Longer meetings

Larger businesses

Google users

Microsoft users

Users that need hardware

International calls

Users that need customer support

$14.99/month

$14.99/month

$13.50/month

$8/month

$5/month

$12.95/month

$15/month

$12-$16/month

  • High quality audio and video
  • Very reliable and secure
  • Lower cost than competitors
  • Easy to use
  • Impressive free version available
  • Intuitive interface
  • Lots of customizability
  • Can also be used for Glip
  • Feature-rich software
  • High quality audio and video
  • Easy setup
  • Google Calendar compatibility
  • Saves chat logs
  • Easy integration with Google apps
  • Completely free
  • 300 participants
  • Integrates with Microsoft 365
  • 1080p video and HD audio,
  • Integrates with third-party apps
  • Good value
  • Simple interface
  • Easy to set up
  • Recording function
  • Amazing sound quality
  • Lots of features
  • Many software integrations
  • Weak free plan
  • Poor audio quality
  • 24-hour meeting limit expires in July 2021
  • Occasional bandwidth issues
  • Spotty connectivity
  • No gallery view for guests
  • Steep learning curve
  • Unsophisticated chat function
  • Hard to use outside of Chrome
  • Connectivity issues without update
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Jack is the Content Manager for Tech.co. He has been writing about a broad variety of technology subjects for over a decade, both in print and online, including laptops and tablets, gaming, and tech scams. As well as years of experience reviewing the latest tech devices, Jack has also conducted investigative research into a number of tech-related issues, including privacy and fraud.

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