In an effort to connect people with their friends and family during the pandemic, Zoom is going to lift its 40-minute video call limit on the free version of its app during Christmas and New Year.
The US firm behind the hugely popular app, which has seen user numbers soar due increased home working from the current pandemic, is lifting the call limit three times during the festive period, reports Daily Mail UK.
The first window for free calls started at 3pm GMT on Thrusday and will last until 11am GMT on Saturday to coincide with the final day of Hanukkah, a Jewish festival commemorating an early victory in the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire.
It will then be lifted once again between 3pm on Wednesday, December 23 and 11am on Boxing Day (also GMT) for users worldwide to celebrate Christmas together virtually, reports Daily Mail UK.
The third and final period of extended free chat will last in the UK from 3pm GMT on Wednesday, December 30 to 11am GMT on Saturday, January 2 to herald 2021.
Zoom users won't have to pay anything for video calls within these time periods, even if they last for hours and hours.
Zoom users don't need to do anything to remove the limit as it will be automatically lifted during these designated times, the firm said, reprts Daily Mail UK.
Usually on Zoom, users have to sign up for a paid subscription, which start from £9.99 a month, to be able to enjoy calls lasting longer than 40 minutes.
But the company is celebrating a successful year with a festive gift to all its users.
'Covid-19 has changed how we live, work, and celebrate in 2020, and like everything else this year, the holiday season doesn't look the same,' the firm said in a blog post.
'As a token of appreciation to our users during an extraordinary time, we're removing the 40-minute limit on free Zoom accounts for all meetings globally for several upcoming special occasions.
'We're proud to have been a part of your lives in 2020 and wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season!' the company added.
As part of its announcement around lifting its time limits, Zoom urged users to follow good security practices on the platform including using meeting passcodes to keep calls secure, and not sharing meeting IDs on social media or other public forums, reports Daily Mail UK.