Google+ Hangouts: Now More Features

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Vic Gundotra , Google Senior Vice President

Often the distances and the fast pace of modern life prevent us from spending time with friends and family. This is especially felt during the holidays. However, modern technology can solve this problem.

Communication is no longer limited to updating status on a social network. With Google+ Hangouts, you can use multi-party video calling to live chat with someone you care about. And it’s absolutely free. Today we present several new opportunities that will help you to always stay in touch with loved ones and communicate with them face to face.

Ease of transition to personal communication

Many posts on Google+ are in themselves a reason for personal communication. For example, your friend announced that she was getting married, your neighbor found a new job, and your favorite singer spoke about a new concert tour. Of course, you can continue to exchange comments, but there are situations when personal communication can not be replaced with anything. You can now start a video call from any post on Google+.

Just click on the “Hangout” link in the menu under the post that interested you, and your invitation will appear in the comments. And if someone has already started a video call, you can easily connect to it from the comments as well.

Left: start a video call directly from the post; right: connect to the current meeting

Of course, we love to communicate not only at the computer. The Google+ Chat app will soon invite friends to hangouts and from mobile devices. Just by clicking on the “Video” icon in the chat window, you can easily switch from text with photos to laughter and smiles .

Google+ Chat. Left - click the “Video” icon to start a video call; on the right - by clicking on the “Chat” icon to return to the text messaging mode.

In just a few days, the new application will appear on the Android Market, and soon in the App Store.

Broadcast and Recording Features

The Dalai Lama , Black Eyed Peas pop group , Muppets dolls - all of them have already used the new “Hangout On Air” video chat feature to communicate with their audience. Such video calls allow you to chat with an unlimited number of participants in video mode. Now this service is under active development, and we are getting closer to making it even more affordable:

  • We have made this service available to hundreds of public figures, celebrities, and popular Google+ users.
  • Hangouts On Air are now fully automated, allowing you to start broadcasting at any time.
  • The service is integrated with YouTube. This means that your program will be recorded and posted on YouTube as a video on your channel (initially only available to you).

Left - start the broadcast; on the right - we watch the live broadcast in the tape

If a new opportunity is not yet available to you, do not worry: we are working to ensure that everyone can go live! But everyone can connect to Hangouts On Air as a viewer right from the feed.

Join Hangouts On The Phone

Not everyone has a camera in a computer or mobile phone. But this should not become an obstacle to communication. Indeed, almost every person today has a telephone - and video calls now allow you to invite any subscriber from different countries, while international rates are extremely low .

Do not miss the chance to chat!

If friends invite you to a Google+ video call, you’ll definitely not miss it:

  • First, on the right side of the stream, you can always see up to three video call invitations at a time;
  • Secondly, even if you are not at the computer, you will definitely receive an invitation notification on your mobile phone.
    No matter what important events happen in life - someone had a baby , someone niece learned a new dance - Google+ will allow you to share this. We hope that the new features of our service will allow you to meet more often.

Add fun

Back in November, Google+ users had the opportunity to try on a virtual mustache right during a video call. It's December, and we thought, why not give you the opportunity to feel the reindeer antlers from Santa Claus harness on your head? Well, if you are a developer, very soon you will have the opportunity to add your own effects using the Video Hangouts API . Follow our announcements!

We would like the world to become a little more comfortable, and the mood more festive. On the eve of the New Year, invite your friends and relatives to a video call and tell us about your impressions.

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