Amidst Facebook’s growing clout in the Social Networking Business, Google+ is desperately trying to win a losing battle. A promising new feature thrown in by Google is Google+ Hangout. Google+ Hangout is a completely new way for video conferencing and live chats. It allows you to invite your friends to a conference and a have a face-to-face conversation with as many as 10 of them.
Here’s how to get started with Google+ Hangout:
Login to your Google+ account.
Click on the “Start a Hangout” button in the right pane.
If you do not have the Google Talk and video plugins, you will be redirected to the download page. We found some glitches in the downloads, so it is better to do the same from this link : – http://www.google.com/tools/dlpage/res/talkvideo/hangouts/ .
After installing the plug-ins, reopen the Start hangout page.
You will now be taken to the Green Room and asked who you want to hang out with. Simply enter the circles you want to be notified about your starting a Hangout. Then click on “Hangout”.
As soon as you enter the Hangout zone, your stream will be updated with the message that you are hanging out. Anyone who wants to join you can click on the link included with the stream.
You can also invite people to hang out. Click on the “Invite” button at the top left of the screen, select the people you want to invite and you are done. The selected people are sent messages that you are Hanging out and would like to invite them.
You can also choose to block the video feed, essentially turning the conference into an audio one. To do this, click on the little mic at the top right corner of the Hangout screen.
You can also turn on chatting while conferencing. To do this, click on the “Chat” button on the top left corner. So in effect, Hangout allows you text, voice and video chatting, all on the same screen.
With its conferencing capabilities, Google+ Hangout can serve as a platform for collaboration works. Supporting it is another feature that lets you share your screen with everyone in the Hangout. To do this, click on the “Share Screen” button in the top pane. You can choose to share a single window or the entire screen.
Completing the Hangout experience is the option to share a youtube video. Simply click on the “Youtube” button in the top pane.
In concept, you could arrange a virtual classroom through Hangout. Though the number of people allowed in a single Hangout is limited to 10, public figures, celebrities and users with large number of followers could use the new Google+ Hangout on Air.