Zoom’s surge has likely been the most noticeable of all the video calling apps to witness growth during the coronavirus outbreak. Zoom’s free meetings are technical limits to 40 minutes. However, there is a simple hack that allows them to last longer.
The program, which formerly aiming for mostly at corporate users, grew from roughly 10 million daily meeting attendees in December 2019 to 300 million only four months later. According to EmailToolTester statistics, it is the most used video calling platform in 44 countries worldwide, including the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia. At the onset of the epidemic, there were some privacy worries about Zoom. However, this was alleviated by increasing security credentials and the implementation of end-to-end encryption in October 2020.
Many individuals will use Zoom to reconnect with friends and family, especially because its free tier allows for up to 100 participants.
What will you see here?
How long is a Zoom free meeting?
The free tier of Zoom allows two people to participate in a meeting for up to 24 hours. However, you are restricted to 40 minutes for groups of three to 100 individuals. When that number is achieved, everyone will be removed from the call. This is perhaps the most annoying aspect of Zoom, yet it serves as a motivation for people to subscribe.
They begin at £11.99/US$14.99 per month or £119.90/US$149.90 annually, with the most affordable subscription increasing the time restriction to 24 hours. Pricier plans eliminate the limit entirely, and it’s worth remembering that just the host is required to subscribe. See the entire collection here.
How do I get around the Zoom 40 minutes time limit?
1. If you haven’t already, open Zoom and sign in.
2. Click the Schedule icon, which seems like a calendar, on the home screen.
3. Set a date and time for whenever you want the meeting to begin and conclude.
4. Before clicking Save, go down to the Calendar header and make sure you select the Other Calendars option.
5. All meeting information, including the vital ID and joining link, will pop up.
6. Copy this and distribute it to all possible participants.
A countdown clock will show in the meeting window as the call approaches the official 40-minute meeting limit. At this point, the host must select Leave Meeting. While the meeting may appear to be over, if everyone clicks on the original joining Url or enters the same ID, a new 40-minute time will begin.
There is no meeting limit to how many times you can do this, so you could theoretically spend several hours in one meeting, with breaks every 40 minutes. It’s not a perfect answer. However, taking frequent vacations from job obligations may not be the worst thing in the world.
What if You don’t want to use Zoom?
Although the Zoom meeting app has become the most popular video conferencing program in recent months, it is far from the only one. Microsoft Teams‘ active user base has also grown significantly, despite the fact that the free tier is limited to 60 minutes. A Microsoft 365 membership is required to use the full range of collaborative features around the globe.
It’s the same thing with Google Meet, which will similarly boot you out after an hour. Both services also allow for a maximum of 100 people.
Other options include Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and FaceTime, with the latter now providing the limited capability for Windows & Android devices.
Zoom periodically removes the 40-minute meeting limit inside the free tier.
Though Zoom has a lot of alternatives for businesses, if you only use it for the odd conversation with family or friends, you could be better off with the free version. The good news is the steps stated above are a handful of workarounds for the time restriction, and while they aren’t ideal, they do allow you to speak for longer without having to pay for a membership.