Zoom scraps call time limits as an early Thanksgiving gift to users

Video calling giant Zoom has announced it will temporarily lift its 40-minute call limit in a bid to support users unable to be with their families this Thanksgiving.

While paying users of the video conferencing service are not subject to any call duration restrictions, users of the free Zoom service are usually restricted to 40-minute sessions, which could make for stilted Thanksgiving celebrations.

As announced via Twitter, however, Zoom will remove this time limit for all users from 00:01am ET on Thanksgiving Day (November 26) until 06:00am the following day.

Zoom video conferencing time-limit

While no one’s idea of a perfect Thanksgiving involves dialling into a family video conference, with travel and close contact inadvisable (and in some places outlawed) due to the coronavirus pandemic, the gesture could help make the day feel at least a little more normal.

As the pandemic has progressed, Zoom - and video conferencing in general - has grown from a predominantly business-centric tool to become a service millions rely upon to maintain personal relationships too.

Since March, quick check-ins, family reunions, birthday parties and more have all been held over video conference. Zoom quizzes became the chosen medium (albeit fleetingly) for socializing with friends - and there were even a few Zoom weddings.

Identifying this growing trend, Zoom even launched its own AirBnB-style virtual events marketplace - called OnZoom. The service gives Zoom customers a centralized platform on which to market, monetize and host any kind of online event, from fitness classes to piano tutorials and comedy shows.

Delimiting conference calls might appear an insignificant gesture on the part of Zoom, but in the world in which we’re currently living, the ability to interact freely with others using the technology at our disposal is vital.

With recent spikes in infection casting a shadow over Christmas celebrations too, it remains to be seen whether Zoom will extend the same kindness come December.

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