Zoom Is Lifting Time Restrictions for Free Calls on Thanksgiving Day in Light of the Ongoing Pandemic
The video conferencing company wants to help you connect with your family, even if you can't be there in person.
Can't be with your family for Thanksgiving? You're not alone. Holidays look different for just about everyone due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and though the regulations and guidelines around gathering can be hard to swallow, they're so important in terms of containing the virus and protecting your loved ones. Luckily, video conferencing platforms make it easy to connect with loved ones, even if you can't all sit around the same dinner table. And in the spirit of giving, one popular program has made it easier—and more affordable—to connect than ever before. Zoom just announced that they'll lift meeting time limits restrictions so that families can gather virtually this Thanksgiving; the company will its $15 charge it usually requires users to pay if they are on a call longer for 40 minutes, USA Today reports.
Zoom shared the exciting announcement on Twitter. "As a thank you to our customers, we will be lifting the 40-minute limit for all meetings globally from midnight ET on November 26 through 6 a.m. ET on November 27 so your family gatherings don't get cut short. #ZoomTogether," it read.
This news comes as Zoom topped the charts for this year's virtual services—coming in at 300 million daily virtual calls and three trillion meeting minutes. While fellow video conferencing companies haven't issued statements about any changes on their apps for the upcoming holiday, there are others that let you gather for free, too. Google's Meet currently has a 60-minute free limit and WebEx stops its no-cost service at 50 minutes.
As you plan your virtual Thanksgiving celebration, there are other bonuses to keep in mind when using the app to communicate with loved ones. "Hands down, the most user-friendly platform is Zoom and it's the most familiar," says professional event planner Lisa Cokinos of LC Events. "An added benefit of Zoom is that the call can be recorded and viewed for at least 30 days after the celebration."