Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Google Plus: Hangouts

The most interesting aspect I see right now (okay, the first aspect I examined so far) is Hangouts.

Hangouts allows people to connect with video/audio and have live chats with each other. It's very similar to Skype. The advantage I see with Hangout is that it's marketed as that: hanging out. It removes the formality and scheduling that is felt with Skype. (ie, "want to skype date?" - planning ahead or making a note of when to sign onto skype). With Hangouts, it's just a matter of seeing who is online at the same time as you.

Another observation is that it eliminates, or significantly reduces, the feeling of online exclusivity. It really tries to mirror the feeling of getting together with a few friends at a cafe or bar, and then someone you know walks in and joins you without any awkwardness. The language Google uses to explain Hangouts is interesting, words like "chill" and it doesn't require the use of a "host" to start a hangout. Once a hangout is initiated, anyone can invite anyone and anyone can leave at any time.

What are your thoughts on Google+ Hangouts?

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