What is a google plus hangout (video group chat)?


Google plus hangout is a innovative and unique feature of google+ social network. There exists no such feature in any other social networks.

Let’s look at what is a hangout? Simply saying it may be called as group video chat but it is a lot more than that.

Here are some of the hangout features

  • It is absolutely FREE!
  • There is nothing to install, all you need is a browser with a webcam and a mic
  • Any google plus user can start a hangout and can invite a circle or another user to join the hangout
  • Starting an hangout is so easy, just click on the Green Start a hangout button on the right in the google+ interface
  • Once you are in the hangout window, you can see the LIVE hangouts going on right now from your circles or friends. Clicking on them, you can join the hangout or you can start your own and invite others
  • Hangout’s are limited to a maximum of 10 users (It may be relaxed in the future)
  • You can text chat (IM) alongside the watching video chat
  • You can watch youtube video as a group
  • You can mute a video and just do a voice chat
  • You can mute a participant so that yourself or others can speak (keeps annoyers away)

Missing or nice to have features

  • A spectators or watchers view would be great. Let’s say when the hangout is maxed out i.e 10 users, others can join and just watch what’s going on.
  • Increased maximum number of users joining a hangout. Is 25 a good number, we are not sure but may be more will be useful. For e.g. let’s say a teacher want’s to talk to his student this would be very helpful.

Hangout is one of the many features that makes google plus a whole lot unique among social networks.

The above missing features are just a subset we thought might be helpful. Please feel free to submit other features that you feel might be helpful through the comments below and we’ll aggregate and update this post.

Popular terms
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9 Comments

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  1. Lars Agerstrand

    My only wish for this is that the maximum limit would be extended. There is no need to be able to see 100 persons video stream at the same time, maybe only one at the time would almost always be enough for big gatherings. The meeting admin decides who shoukld be able to speak and be visible. It would be a GREAT tool for big meetings/webcasts.

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