While Google is working hard at catching up with their rivals in smartphone market, they are not short on creativity and pioneering innovation in their core field: the web. They have always been the best, and are continuing to lead the trends. With Google+, Google practically told the world exactly what a social network should look like, taking the lead with their most stand-out feature: Hangouts. Now they are introducing new features which not only redefine social media, but are also directly giving Skype a run for their money. It makes one think that Skype sold itself off at just the right time.
1. Hangout on any post
They are pouring more life and sense into hangouts by integrating it into the conversations threads. Now you can hangout with your friends and family on any of your status updates. Any of your political status updates can spark a hangout, making it easy for your friends to start in on you. Or, if your sister just got engaged, you won’t miss being with the family for that special moment. Anybody who can see a post of yours can start a hangout for that post, while others can join that hangout right from your post as well.
Hangouts in Google+ posts
2. Hangout from your iPhone and Android
This is, without a doubt, Google’s take on Skype, as Google+ hangouts have made their way to Android devices as well as iOS. An update to Google+ messenger apps for iOS and Android is on its way, which will bring a new hangout button from which you can video chat with 9 of your chaps on-the-go. The update is not yet released so we can’t check it out for ourselves yet, nor can we tell if the hangouts are tied to posts on mobile apps or not.
Google+ hangouts for mobile
3. Broadcast hangouts
Seems like being a star is not going to be a big deal the in near future, as anyone can be a host of their own show with the Google+ Hangout Broadcasts. Just stop looking around for all the crap in the form of Qik, Ustream, livestream and justin.tv that nobody ever uses in everyday life, and start with Google+ and its totally self-service broadcasts. Initially, only the celebrities having large followings will be blessed with this feature, which means you’ll soon be seeing Bustin Jieber hanging out with you. Later on, though, when the service goes public he might be watching you live. Well, at least you can imagine that.
4. Record hangouts and publish to youtube
Like Hangout Broadcasts and mobile Hangouts, this feature will also be rolling out slowly. But when you have it, you’ll be able to record your Hangouts and publish to YouTube direct from Google+. Whoa! Google+ is becoming a one-stop solution for potential celebrities. Fortunately that’s not us.
They call broadcasting, recording and YouTube publishing ‘Hangouts on Air’.
Google+ hangouts on air
5. Call phones
Calling phones has been in gmail chat for some time now, but now they are incorporating the service into Google+ hangouts. While you see the faces of your family on the eve of your graduation, your mom might join-in from her phone. You know she doesn’t want to go through the hassle of joining a Hangout. You just call her up right from your on-going Hangout, and her sweet voice will be filling your ears like magic. As you know already, calling to the USA and Canada is free, but not internationally.
6. Make up with antlers
In November, Google+ hangouts allowed you to add moustaches to your faces, and in December they have cute deer antlers to scare your kids on the other side of the cam. If you happen to be a developer, you’ve got an API to create your own make-up.
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