November 18, 2020
Many of us may be feeling tired of video calls at this point in the pandemic, but it's still one of the easiest and safest ways to stay connected.
Thanksgiving dinner with anyone outside your immediate household isn't recommended by experts due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, so it's likely you'll need to plan a video chat with your family and friends this holiday if you want to celebrate together.
The popular video conferencing company Zoom is a go-to for virtual group hangouts, and it's anticipating a lot of people signing on Nov. 26 to catch up with loved ones near and far.
Zoom recently announced it will lift its timed meeting limit on Thanksgiving so "your family gatherings don't get cut short."
As a thank you to our customers, we will be lifting the 40-minute limit for all meetings globally from midnight ET on Nov. 26 through 6 a.m. ET on Nov. 27 so your family gatherings don't get cut short. ❤️🏡 #ZoomTogether pic.twitter.com/aubsH0tfxG— Zoom (@zoom_us) November 10, 2020
Whether it's good or bad to have unlimited time on a family call is debatable, but it's a nice gesture by the tech company.
Normally, Zoom offers free meetings for a maximum of 40 minutes. You can always start a new meeting for another 40 minutes if you get cut off, but frequent abrupt endings can be a nuisance.
Paid plans range from around $150 to $200 per year for unlimited meeting minutes.
The CDC has tips on how to safely gather for Thanksgiving, but encourages considering hosting a virtual family dinner.