Popular video conferencing software Zoom has announced that it will remove a key restriction for this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, helping families and friends connect with each other remotely. The change will arrive at midnight on Thanksgiving, November 26, and last until the early morning hours on Friday, November 27.
The company announced the change on Twitter last week, stating that it will temporarily remove the 40-minute limit for meetings. This means users can, for example, fire up a virtual meeting early on Thanksgiving to talk with family and friends while cooking and preparing for the day.
The meeting can last all day if you’d like, underscoring the role technology has played in easing isolation caused by the pandemic while helping keep people safe. Public health experts have repeatedly warned that people should make the difficult decision to stay home this holiday season to prevent a big uptick in COVID-19 cases.
The 40-minute limit is in place for free users, mirroring similar restrictions found on competing services. Of course, users can simply start a new video call after the previous one has ended, but such a disruption would be a hassle on Thanksgiving, particularly if those who struggle with technology are participating.
Zoom is one of many platforms that offer group video calls, other alternatives including things like Google Meet, Skype, and more. Most platforms have a time limit for free users, so Zoom may be your best option this Thanksgiving unless your group is already signed up for a different service.