Google+ Hangouts: Engage, Inform, and Entertain with Google's Free Video Conferencing and Broadcasting Tool
Starting a Hangout
After you’ve set up your computer for Google+ Hangouts and have tried out a hangout or two, you should be ready to host your own hangouts.
To start a hangout, follow these steps:
- On the right side of any Google+ page, click the Hang Out button.
- Click the Settings button in the upper-right corner of the Google+ Hangouts window. If you’ve used Hangouts before and feel confident that your settings are accurate, you can skip steps 3 through 5. If you’re new to Hangouts, however, these steps are essential.
- In the Settings dialog box, shown in Figure 2, verify that your webcam, microphone, and speakers work properly. If you’re having problems, click Help Link to view troubleshooting tips.
- Click the Save Settings button to save your changes and close the dialog box.
- Specify who you want to hang out with (see Figure 3). By default, Google+ makes your hangout available to everyone in your circles. If you want to narrow your audience, click the Delete icon (x) on the Your Circles button. From here, select from the people whose gravatars display on the right side of the page or click the Add More People link to select the circles you want to include.
- Enter a name for your hangout in the Name This Hangout box. This enables potential participants to know what your hangout is about.
- Select the Enable Hangouts On Air check box if you want to produce a live, public broadcast. You can also record Hangouts On Air as YouTube videos for later playback.
- If your topic is suited to an adult audience, select the Restrict Minors from Joining This Hangout check box.
- Click the Hang Out button to open the Google+ Hangouts window. Your video feed is now live. Google+ alerts the people you chose to hang out with in step 5. As soon as they join, you can start participating in your hangout.
Figure 2 Verify your settings before starting to hang out.
Figure 3 You can choose the specific circles and people you want to hang out with.