These days, it seems like social networking sites are popping up left and right. Some get enough traction to become successful, while others quickly come and go without gaining any popularity. One of the sites that is definitely here to stay is Google+, which has been around for about two years.
Google+ is home to over 400 million active users including individuals, company pages, celebrities, public figures, and more. Some experts are even predicting that Google+ is on its way to becoming the next Facebook. That doesn’t seem too far-fetched, especially since Google+ recently surpassed Twitter to become the second largest social networking site in the world!
Brace yourselves, Google+ enthusiasts, because one of the site’s coolest features is about to become even better. We’re talking about hangouts, which are group video chats that allow several users to chat and interact simultaneously. This is a great alternative to other methods of video chat, such as Skype or Facebook, that only accommodate one-on-one interactions.
Hangouts Are Going High-Def
Earlier this week, news surfaced that Google+ hangouts would soon upgrade to 720p high-definition video quality, and users are pretty excited about it. It turns out that Google already set the plan in motion and quietly rolled out the upgrade to a preselected group of Google+ users. The entire upgrade is expected to be complete within the next few weeks, at which point, G+ all users will be able to experience hangouts in HD. So, for the newbies out there who are not familiar with Google+, here is an overview of hangouts and why this feature is a user-favorite!
1. Up To 10 Users
A single Google+ hangout can accommodate up to 10 users, which you can’t find on most of the web’s other video chat services. This feature alone makes hangouts the go-to option for groups of friends or family members who are dispersed in many different regions because all you need is a webcam and an Internet connection and it’s like everyone is in the same room just hangin’ out!
2. Completely Free
Hangouts are completely free, and the only requirement is that you have an active Google+ account, which is also free. If you want to use hangouts, but you don’t have an account yet, you can create one here.
3. Convenient For Remote Collaboration
Have you ever had to work on a group project at school or work? Well, getting everyone together is probably one of the most difficult and frustrating tasks because people have hectic schedules and it’s hard to find a time when everyone can meet. Google+ hangouts are the perfect remedy for scheduling conflicts because everyone in the group can just sign on and start a hangout in order to collaborate remotely.
4. Funny Animations
Everyone loves the quirky animation feature on Google+ hangouts because it really is just simply fun. The tool uses facial recognition to locate the users’ face on the screen, and then you can choose from lots of different animations to add to their appearance such as funny hats, reindeer antlers, and much more. It’s the perfect way to lighten the mood and have some fun when you’re separated from your friends or loved ones and video chat is your go-to option for communication.
Are YOU on Google+? If so, what’s your favorite thing about hangouts? Let us know in the comments!
Angela Browning is a blogger and Google+ fanatic from Miami, FL. She specializes in writing about the newest trends in social media.