Zoom Simply Introduced Its Plan to Save Thanksgiving

It’s now a little easier for millions of people to navigate how to safely gather the family for Thanksgiving. That’s because Zoom just announced that it is lifting the 40-minute limit for free meetings on Thanksgiving.

Zoom says this is a thank you for the customers. To that end, it’s really a brilliant move. In Zoom, you can do almost anything that goes into confronting people we don’t actually deal with personally.

For example, we now have team meetings in Zoom, meet customers, meet for birthdays, do online schools and even teach yoga. It makes sense that Thanksgiving is now on the list, along with all the other normal things we had to virtually tweak.

While Zoom was a big part of keeping people connected, the free account has always been limited in time for meetings with more than two people. Most of the time, that’s fine, as you can still use your free account to log into a meeting hosted by someone with a paid account.

The problem is, if you only have one free account, your meeting is limited to 40 minutes, forcing users to restart meetings and sign everyone back in, or pull out their wallet and sign up for a paid account. However, for Thanksgiving, there is no guarantee that anyone in the family will have one.

Zoom removes that inconvenience on a day when millions of people are sure to be trying to find a creative way to bring families together. And bringing people together is a very real challenge, especially as the US enters a second wave of Covid-19 cases.

In many areas, public health officials urge people not to travel or to take in people outside their immediate household. This is especially difficult during the holidays, when large families traditionally gather to celebrate.

This way, by making Zoom the Thanksgiving venue too, you can build an affection for a brand that the average person would never hear of until March. Best of all, you don’t have to do anything to use Zoom’s little gift. Just start a meeting and invite your family over.

Zoom’s greatest strength has always been its ease of use, even for people who have never used video conferencing software before. Anyone can join with just one link. This step is very brand-specific for a company that has become one of the most important tools to stay connected precisely because it was so easy to use. Now Thanksgiving just got a little easier, at least virtually.

To be very clear, the change is not permanent. Everything is back to normal after 6:00 a.m. on the 27th, but it’s certainly a nice move from a company we’ve all relied on in ways we could never have imagined – even for Thanksgiving dinner.

The opinions expressed by Inc.com columnists here are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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