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Zoom Lifts Free Call Time Limit for the Holidays

Chat for hours at no cost this Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year's.

This story originally appeared on PCMag

Whether you're opening presents this holiday, drinking to the new year or just trying to sneak in one final book club meeting, Zoom has your back.

Getty Images via PC Mag

As a "token of appreciation to our users during an extraordinary time," the videoconferencing platform is ditching the 40-minute limit on free calls for this month's special occasions.

The cap will be automatically lifted from the following dates and times:

  • 10 a.m. ET Thursday, Dec. 17 (today) to 6 a.m. ET Saturday, Dec. 19

  • 10 a.m. ET Wednesday, Dec. 23 to 6 a.m. ET Saturday, Dec. 26

  • 10 a.m. ET Wednesday, Dec. 30 to 6 a.m. ET Saturday, Jan. 2

Sprinkle some holiday magic on your calls by downloading festive backgrounds and using video filters. Also check out Zoom's ideas for hosting virtual parties and tips for connecting with family and friends. "We're proud to have been a part of your lives in 2020 and wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season!" the team wrote in a blog announcement.

Related: How Eric Yuan 'Zoom'ed His Way To Build a $50-Billion Business

Zoom offered the same deal over Thanksgiving, inviting basic-plan customers to chat for hours over a slice of turkey and some cranberry sauce. The free plan cuts off after 40 minutes — a good incentive to upgrade to a paid tier. Sure, you can restart the call as many times as necessary, but that can put a real damper on any virtual gathering.

Google Meet also requires users to renew calls after 60 minutes, and most providers charge for removing these restrictions. Which is why it's such a delight to have endless free Zoom sessions this holiday season.