Google is trying hard to make Meet a video conferencing competitor by adding a torrent of new features in quick succession. After making premium features free at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Google is now extending free, unlimited Meet calls into next year for Gmail accounts.
At the start of March, Google said premium Hangouts Meet features — 250-person meetings, internal live streaming, and call recording to Drive — would be free for all G Suite customers rather than restricting some capabilities to higher (paid) tiers.
A month later, when Meet went free for regular users and was integrated with Gmail, Google said it wouldn’t enforce a 60-minute time limit until September 30. By all accounts, the company was not going to extend that deadline any further.
A day before the policy change, Google said on Tuesday that it’s continuing unlimited Meet calls for free Gmail users into next year. There is a 24-hour technical limitation that most should not encounter, but this is definitely a turnaround for the company to make Meet a competitive offering for regular users.