The beta version of Google+ has been out for nearly two months now, and if you have been keeping up with the news, you know Hangouts is one of its most exciting features. A chatting tool of sorts, Hangouts allows users to communicate by video with up to 10 people at once, which makes it useful for a wide range of purposes. It also lets them view YouTube content as a group. In an interesting development, the search engine company has decided to take its video-based chatting component out of the Google+ arena by integrating it with its immensely popular web destination YouTube.
Google recently introduced an update that allows the Hangouts feature to be accessed directly from the YouTube interface. This obviously gives YouTube more appeal as a marketing tool, so let’s take a look at how the savvy video marketer can take advantage.
Find a Video to Share
The main draw to having Hangouts functionality in YouTube is convenience. No longer do you have to be on the Google+ domain to launch a session and search for video. It can now all be done from YouTube in fast and easy fashion. Simply go through the process of retrieving a video as you normally would (one of your own or another relevant to the group you want to share it with), and from there, firing up your Hangouts session is as straightforward as clicking a button. However, there is another step that must be completed first.
Invite Your Circle
Once you have the video content handy, you can then invite your friends, better known in this instance as the contacts in your designated circle, by accessing the Hangouts option underneath the “Share” button. This step requires you to confirm that you have a Google+ account and connect it with your account on YouTube. From here, you can choose up to 10 friends in your chosen circle and initiate the session by clicking the “Start a Google+ Hangout” link.
Make the Most of the Opportunity
When using the Hangouts feature in YouTube, you want to make sure you maximize its potential by getting the most from your video session. Luckily, this component has a variety of interesting features that enable you to do this, native features that carry over into the YouTube experience. For example, Hangouts allows you and your group to offer commentary on the video at hand, which could be very useful in videoconferencing sessions where dialogue is a necessity. This is just a single example of how you can take your sessions beyond group viewing.
Another “Plus” for Google’s Social Network
Leveraging the Hangouts feature on YouTube does require you to have a Google+ account, but if you’re already a member, then you can start putting it to good use. It will be interesting to see where the search company integrates this function and other components of its social platform next. Don’t be surprised if you see Hangouts incorporated into other Google products and services in the near future.