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Zoom Offers Thanksgiving Surprise

Videoconferencing program will scrap its 40-minute time limit for Nov. 26 only so families can chat
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2020 11:35 AM CST

(Newser) – With top health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci strongly urging people to forgo holiday gatherings with loved ones during the pandemic, many are opting to settle in for a quiet meal at home with members of their household only, perhaps with plans to hold a Zoom call with relatives far and near. One issue, however, is that the popular videoconferencing program cuts off calls after 40 minutes, meaning larger groups might not be able to have as much time together online as they'd like. Now, Zoom has a surprise for everyone: It's nixing that time limit on free calls, for Thanksgiving only, reports Business Insider.

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The unlimited Zoom calling will run 12am on Nov. 26 through 6am on Nov. 27, giving users 30 hours of endless gabbing with family and friends. Per Engadget, other companies that offer videoconferencing have also been placing a limit during the pandemic on how long calls can last—for example, Google Meet keeps conversations to an hour unless users have a subscription. "The fact that Zoom is doing this at all—and that it will likely go a long way in helping users employ video chatting as a substitute for a traditional family gathering—speaks volumes about the bizarre and uncharted territory we're entering this holiday season," the Verge notes. (Read more Zoom stories.)

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