I’m still relatively new to using Google+, but after having read “What the Plus” by Guy Kawasaki, I decided Google+ would be worth another look. Since I finished the book a couple of weeks ago, I have become an avid believer of Google+ and the power behind it; one of the powerful features, that I believe to be of great personal value, is Hangouts.
Like many people, I have family spread across the country which makes it difficult to see each other on a regular basis; this is where hangouts can come to the rescue. Hangouts allow up to 10 friends (yourself included) through Google+ to video chat with one another for FREE! Yes, there is Skype which has been allowing video chatting for some time, but it’s only a two-way conversation, unless you want to buy credits, which will allow for more than two people to video chat.
Again, as of this writing, I’m still fairly new to the world of Google+ and I haven’t seen one of my brothers for nearly a year, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to give Hangouts a try and speak to and “see” my brother again.
I would say “to my surprise”, but since Google usually makes things so easy to use, this statement doesn’t apply; so, to my non-surprise, it was incredibly easy to begin a Hangout. Once started, my brother and I were able to chat with ease and did so for a couple of hours.
During the time of our chat, I gave a few of the built-in apps a try such as sound effects and other cartoony effects, which were fun, but not nearly as cool as doing the screen-share. While chatting, there were topics that came up in our conversation that were better explained visually; so to make it visual, I just shared my screen and my brother was able to view what I was viewing (it even worked easily with having dual-monitors).
There were other apps that were available, but during this first Hangout, I didn’t give them a try; however, I’m looking forward to trying some of the other features out. Also, as I first mentioned, Hangouts allow up to 10 people to video chat at one time; this is the other feature that I want to try out. I look at this as an opportunity for my family, who is spread out, to be able to all video chat and stay connected on a more regular basis during those times that we can’t all be together.
Google has revolutionized the Internet in so many ways and I believe this is one way that they have revolutionized not just social connection, but family connection.
Hangouts aren’t just for family and friends, they can be used by anyone on Google+, which includes businesses and clients; and Hangouts aren’t just limited to your computer – you can use Hangouts on your Android or Apple products with the Google+ App.
For more information on Google+ Hangouts, check out these resources: