Google+ Hangouts: Engage, Inform, and Entertain with Google's Free Video Conferencing and Broadcasting Tool
One of the most popular features on Google+ is Hangouts, Google’s easy-to-use video chat and broadcasting tool. With Hangouts, you can have a casual chat with friends and family, meet virtually with clients and employees, or even broadcast to the world. In this article, I discuss the many ways you can use Google+ Hangouts and then show you how to set up, start, and participate in a hangout.
Introducing Google+ Hangouts
Although Google+ offers many ways to connect with others, there are times when you can’t beat face-to-face communication. For those times, Google+ offers Hangouts.
Hangouts enable you to get together with other Google+ users using live video chat. You can participate in a hangout from your computer, an Android 2.3+ mobile device, iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch with iOS 4+. If you use a mobile device, a front-facing camera is also required.
Hangout options include regular hangouts (up to 9 people) or Hangouts On Air, which enable you to broadcast to the Web and record a public video of your hangout for later editing, sharing, and playback.
Looking for some inspiration about what you could do with Google+ Hangouts? Here are just a few ideas:
- Hold meetings with employees and clients
- Conduct customer or internal training
- Participate in video chats with friends and family
- Collaborate on documents with a group of colleagues
- Provide customer support
- Share your computer screen with others
- Demonstrate your products and services
- Host regularly scheduled video chats on a specific topic
- Broadcast online to a large audience (through Google+ Hangouts On Air)