Owing to the last three days of Canukkah, starting today, video-calling application ‘Zoom’ will be suspending its 40-minute limit on meetings, so as to connect families far and wide, to celebrate the festivities in their own time, without having to rush.
Now that coronavirus restrictions on social gatherings have reached their peak, and so have new infections, Zoom will be extending their meeting time limits in honor of the Jewish festivals, as well as the upcoming Christian holidays, this month. With gatherings at home accounting for a major chunk of cases, especially in New York, it has become all the more important to shift and rely on the virtual world to stay connected. Similarly, Google is letting free Google Meet users host calls that last for up to 24 hours through March 31st, 2021.
It is with this notion that zoom has extended its timings from 10 AM ET today, December 17th, to 6 AM ET Saturday, December 19th, for the end of Hanukkah; 10 AM ET Wednesday, December 23rd, to 6 AM ET Saturday, December 26th, for Christmas Eve and Christmas; 10 AM ET on Wednesday, December 30th, to 6 AM ET on Saturday, January 2nd, for New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and the end of Kwanzaa.
In its blog, Zoom stated, “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. 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. Whether coming together on the final day of Hanukkah, celebrating Christmas, ringing in the New Year, or marking the last days of Kwanzaa, those connecting with friends and family won’t get cut short.”
Furthermore, Zoom has made available several festive virtual backgrounds and video filters that can be downloaded and applied to the calls. By removing the limit for these holidays, hopefully, virtual meetups with friends and family can be less focused on the clock and more on catching up with loved ones.