First of all, Hangout is a video chat and also a broadcasting channel. Yes, it is pretty much like Skype. Now that Skype is integrated in Facebook, Hangout is even more like that but much cooler (not only me to think so, check Google+ Hangouts is the Best Free Group Video Chat We’ve seen).
So what can you do with Hangout? Here is what Google Plus team explains about this feature.
“Hangouts are the best way for you to say, “I’m online and want to hangout!”
Because it is part of Google+, so you get this ability to act like you will in real life, sitting around showing that you are available for a chat, that is the first thing Hangout does. Even if you do not set a meeting with anyone, you can show people in your circles that you are hanging out by sign in to chat and choose ‘available’ status. This way, people can come and join you then you can catch up or even watch youtube video together. You can also notify anyone you like by sending them an invitation. Also, if you choose to do Hangout with extras, you can actually have a group meeting online and work on your project.
Hangout with extras ?
Hangout with extras let you collaborate work with your group. Although you cannot watch youtube in this, you can have text and video chat at the same time, share screen, edit document with the integration of Google Docs, use SketchUp to draw something or make a diagram, and also make notes which you and your members can come back to after the video conference ends.
Hangouts has a lot of potential and many people in different sectors are already aware of its capability. One great example of utilizing this feature is a set up of a Hangout called “Hangout Academy” which was created by six developers who initially met through Hangout. Hangout Academy is created to provided people to learn new skills by collaboration in a global scale. Its objective is to “connect people in search of knowledge with experienced professionals and hobbyists willing to share it.” Another example of Hangout’s benefit for education and learning is how students can work together on virtual study groups and professors can provide “office hours” through Hangout. In business sector, Dell is quick on trend by already thinking about using Hangout as a new tool for its customer service. In media, KOMU News has already launch its Hangout “U_News @ 4” as a way for better connecting with its viewers as well as getting instant feedbacks and reactions.
Some might wonder how can it work for KOMU News to connect its audience when Hangout can host only up to 10 people? The answer is that there is something called “Hangout On Air”
The idea is that “Hangout On Air” provide live stream so the host can reach wider audience. It can be used as a closer connection with news consumer as in KOMU’s Hangout or as a behind-the scene live broadcast in Black Eyed Peas’s backstage Hangout.
Just a while ago, Hangout On Air was also used by Dalai Lama to celebrate South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s 80th birthday. The online meeting was planned as Dala Lama was not able to visit South Africa since its government failed to respond his visa request.
It seems like there the creative ways to use Hangouts will not stop at this as Google has planned to let this feature available for web developers to use for their websites. Here is another new innovation from Google+ that will definitely change our online social interaction – with the people in the whole world.
- KOMU-TV Puts Google+ Hangout Video Chat on the Air (pbs.org)
- Do Business People need to Hangout? Google+ certainly thinks so (marketing.yell.com)
- How To Use Google+ Hangout For Business (adrsocialmedia.wordpress.com)
- 5 new challenges for media companies using Google Plus (lostremote.com)
- Sarah Hill, KOMU-TV – Google+ Hangout: Norwegians speak on Oslo bombings (nextlevelofnews.com)