Tech

Zoom to lift 40-minute meeting limit on Thanksgiving Day

Zoom - Appy Pie

Zoom has made an announcement that it plans to lift its standard 40-minute limit on free video chats for Thanksgiving Day. Zoom has planned the move as it wants to make it easier to spend time with friends and family virtually on Thanksgiving Day.

Given the rise in COVID-19 cases nationwide, worldwide, and various new and existing restrictions on interstate travel, this year’s Thanksgiving will be an extraordinary affair. It will involve a mix of in-person and virtual hangouts using videoconferencing software like Zoom.

The 40-minute limit has been one of the major restrictions of Zoom’s Basic plan throughout the pandemic closures, often leading to groups restart a chat after the time limit is up and causing friction in keeping a conversation or virtual gathering going.

Other competitors of Zoom also have similar restrictions imposed, Google Meet has a 60-minute limit and Cisco Webex has a 50-minute limit. All the video conferencing providers charge extra for plans that remove the limit and expand the number of participants.

However, Zoom has developed as the face of the video conferencing boom that the pandemic created earlier this year. Zoom will benefit if it removes this limit, even just for a day, on a high-traffic holiday in the US like Thanksgiving. In this way, the video conferencing platform can become a destination for virtual celebrations and also establish in a manner to connect with others during the pandemic.

It’s only a temporary removal of the 40-minute restriction, lasting from midnight on Thanksgiving Day November 26th-November 27th 6 AM ET. Zoom is doing this at all and it will likely go a long way in helping users employ video chatting as a substitute for a traditional family gathering as the territory we’re entering this holiday season as COVID-19 continues to rage in the US.

Given the grim coronavirus forecasts from health experts and the current surges in positive cases in every state in the US, it’s better to rely on technology than to take the risk of traveling during riskier times of the year like Thanksgiving to visit family or friends.

Zoom Video Communications posted a jump in the fiscal second quarter which ended on July 31 with total revenue hitting USD 663.5 million, a growth of 355 percent year-over-year as many new users joined the platform amid the Covid-19 restrictions.

Zoom revealed that at the end of Q2, the company had approximately 370,200 customers with more than 10 employees, approximately up about 458 percent from the same quarter last fiscal year.

The video meeting app has also launched an online marketplace and event platform called OnZoom for paid users to create, host, and even monetize events like concerts, stand-up or music lessons, or fitness classes.