Zoom will not shorten your Christmas video call, the company announced. Although anyone can use Zoom for free to make video calls to friends and family, accounts without an active subscription to the service are limited to 40 minutes. After that, your video call will stop abruptly and you will need to stop the monthly direct charge or call someone for another 40 minutes (before the same thing happens again).
However, Zoom rejects the time limit to help people who cannot travel due to local restrictions or just avoid traveling to ensure friends and family are safe in contact with their loved ones. The video conferencing app confirmed plans to lift the 40-minute limit for certain days, including Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza and New Year, earlier this month.
The dates are as follows:
- Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 3:00 PM GMT on Wednesday, December 23 – until 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 26, 2020
- New Year’s Eve, New Year, Last day of Kwanzaa 15:00 GMT on Wednesday 30 December – until 11:00 on Saturday 2 January 2021
Confirming the news on the company’s blog, Zoom states: “COVID-19 has changed the way we live, work and celebrate in 2020, and like everything else this year, the holiday season doesn’t look the same. As a token of gratitude to our customers during their extraordinary time, we are removing the 40-minute free Zoom account limit for all meetings around the world on several upcoming special occasions. Whether they gather on the last day of Hanukkah, celebrate Christmas, ring the New Year or celebrate the last days of Kwanzaa, those who connect with friends and family will not be interrupted. “
You don’t have to do anything to remove the call limit of 40 minutes from your free account, but it will be automatically terminated at a certain time.
On top of that, Zoom has announced a series of wallpapers on a festive theme to download and use on our next call. Zoom can use AI to tell the difference between your body and the background behind you. Using this information, Zoom allows callers to blur the background (to stop annoying colleagues from sniffing the titles on their booklet) or replace the background with something completely different.