Google Meet tiled view

Credit: Google
  • Google is extending unlimited Meet video calls for Gmail users until March 31, 2021.
  • The perk was originally set to expire on September 30.
  • Google is acknowledging the reality of the extended COVID-19 pandemic.

Google’s unlimited free Meet video calls for Gmail accounts will last several months longer. The internet pioneer has extended (via Neowin) the unlimited-length chats from their original September 30 expiration date until March 31, 2021. Free tier calls were previously limited to an hour each.

Simply speaking, Google is acknowledging that the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic will last for a while. Many people will have no choice but to celebrate holidays and attend events online, Google said, and unlimited Meet calls will ensure they can “stay in touch” in the months ahead.

Read more: How to use Google Meet

The company pointed out that Meet has grown in recent months, including Chromecast-based calls on your TV and background blurring effects to hide your messes at home. Video chats for Gmail account holders are capped at 50 users, but all G Suite and educational customers can have up to 250 participants and record their calls.

The move is clearly meant to keep Meet competitive with video chat rivals like Zoom and Facebook Messenger Rooms. If Google didn’t offer unlimited free calls, it risked losing otherwise loyal Meet users. This won’t necessarily draw you to Meet, but it could keep you invested if you have a choice of platforms for your virtual conversations.