Following on from our last post on using Google+ for business – we have put together some Q&As behind the Google+ Hangouts video tool that we hope you find useful…

So what’s the difference between a Hangout and a Hangout on Air?

A Hangout allows up to 10 people to join in on a free, live video conference within the Google+ platform. Public settings allow for any 10 individual G+ users to join the hangout – whereas Private settings allow hangouts to appear specifically to invited participants.
Hangouts can be utilised by companies wanting to host meetings, provide customer service, conduct private tutorials or hold consultations.

Whereas on the other hand, A Hangout on Air is essentially a Live stream broadcast of a video conference, which can be shared to many – but still with a limit constraint of 10 active users. A Hangout on Air can be scheduled at a particular date and time and shared as a G+ event, or simply created live. The resulting video can actually be exported automatically to Youtube, which enables the embedding of the video on other sites.
On Air Hangouts are great for larger scale audiences of company announcements, testimonials, panel discussions, tutorials and even product demos.

What collaborative features can be used with Hangouts?

  • Real time screen sharing
  • Main view switching to whoever is speaking
  • Google docs shared editing
  • Simultaneously watch Youtube video – and discuss whilst watching
  • Add a branded ‘Lower Third’ banner to video feeds
  • Text chat, visible only to participants
  • Can join from mobile devices

Any business can use G+ Hangouts to their advantage – no matter if they are communicating with employees, product users or potential customers. It is a great outlet to share expertise publicly (with Hangouts on Air), and utilise collaborative tools – and has some great locative benefits.

Check out some of the Local Measure team using it for a quick catch-up during the week (with fantastic pirate costumes). Hope that cleared up some of the confusion behind G+ Hangouts!