Zoom now limits free one-on-one meetings to 40 minutes

Individual meetings set up using a free account will now automatically end after 40 minutes.

Image: prima91/Adobe Stock

Those of you who create Zoom meetings with a free account will now launch after 40 minutes, regardless of the number of people on the call. Since July 15, Zoom has limited meetings between two people to this 40-minute duration. Previously, only free calls with three or more people were subject to this limitation.

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“On July 15, 2022, Zoom is changing the meeting duration limit for 1:1 meetings hosted by basic (free) users on paid accounts to 40 minutes,” the company explained in a support page. “This change creates a uniform meeting duration limit of 40 minutes for all meetings hosted by Basic (Free) users on all account types. This includes 1:1 meetings, group meetings, and personal meeting rooms.

To explain the new guidelines in more detailZoom has stated that a free meeting will end after 40 minutes whether active or inactive for one of the following scenarios:

  • A host and no attendees
  • A host and one or more participants at the same time
  • No host and one or more participants at the same time who join before the host

Even if the host does not show up and the meeting is inactive, the 40-minute countdown starts when the first participant arrives.

As the coronavirus pandemic has forced society into lockdown, people have turned to virtual meeting programs to see and talk to each other. Such platforms have been adopted by individuals to keep in touch with family and friends, by organizations to host meetings, and by schools to host classes. Since many companies have since moved to a hybrid work environment, these products are still in high demand.

A variety of virtual meeting products attempted to meet the need, including Microsoft Teams, Skype, Webex, Google Meet and GoTo Meeting, but Zoom was one of the major players with a dominant market share and a steady increase in revenue. for the past. a few years.

However, to keep growing, the business needs to generate more revenue, which means more paid subscriptions. In May, Zoom CFO Kelly Steckelberg said the company expected revenue from client companies increasingly represent a higher percentage of total income.

With a paid plan, a meeting can last up to 30 hours so people don’t have to worry about being kicked out prematurely. Zoom Deals three main subscriptions: A Pro plan at $14.99/month or $149.90/year per user, a Business plan at $19.99/month or $199.90/year per user and a Business Plus plan at $25/month or $250/year per user. Custom business plans are also available.

However, people with free Zoom accounts can use a specific trick to extend a free meeting beyond the 40-minute limit. To do this, open the Zoom app and click the Schedule button to set up your meeting. Make sure Meeting ID is set to Auto Generate. Change the Calendar option to Other Calendars. Click Save (Figure A).

Figure A

Image: Lance Whitney/TechRepublic

Copy the meeting details and send them to other attendees (Figure B).

Figure B

Image: Lance Whitney/TechRepublic

When your meeting is approaching the 40-minute deadline, a countdown appears on your screen (Figure C).

Figure C

Image: Lance Whitney/TechRepublic

As the host, click the End button, then select Leave Meeting — not the End for All (Figure D).

Figure D

Image: Lance Whitney/TechRepublic

You will be prompted to assign another host. Select one of the other participants. That person should then click the End button and select Leave Meeting.

At this point, the meeting appears to be over. But you and the attendees can click the original meeting link or enter the same meeting ID, and the meeting will start again with another 40 minutes left on the clock (Figure E).

Figure E

Image: Lance Whitney/TechRepublic
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