Google Meet, the company’s group video chat alternative to platforms like Zoom, will continue to offer free unlimited use until the end of June, the company has announced. This is the latest extension of the free unlimited use, which Google introduced last year for standard Gmail users who suddenly found themselves having to work and socialize remotely.
Google Meet is a video conferencing platform that allows users to engage in one-on-one video chats, as well as group chats with a large number of people. Though the platform already had a free option for users, it was limited in a way that didn’t work for those who were working or studying from home.
In order to get the unlimited 24-hour group video chats, you’d have to sign up for Google Workspace Essentials at $8/month. Google waived that requirement last year, however, and originally intended to end its free unlimited use for standard Gmail users late last year.
The company extended that deadline, and now it has bumped it again, this time through June 2021. There’s a good reason for Google to continue offering free use, of course, and not just for its users — many people will likely still be working and studying at home rolling into June, and removing the unlimited access may drive them to other services.
Once things revert back to the way they were before, standard free users will be limited to one-hour group meeting calls, though one-on-one calls are available for 24-hours at a time. The number of meetings is unlimited across all price tiers, including the free tier.