So here's yet another feature coming from Google that is bringing video power to virtually everyone. Hangouts On Air, which is available to only some users of Google+, will soon be available to everyone around the world who uses the social network. It allows others to watch your hangout live streaming session through Google+, YouTube, or your own website at the click of a button. The possibilities of this feature could be a revolution in online video: meetings, conventions, events can all be broadcast from several unique perspectives.
Hangouts On Air: Google Lets You Do It Live
Now, you can press a button that reads, "Enable Hangouts On Air," and suddenly, strangers could be watching you and your buddies. You can even see the number of people watching your hangout. It'll be live, candid, and even better, it can be recorded and posted for those who missed it.
Here's the video explaining it all:
The new feature will roll out over the next few weeks, but Google's blog displays several hangouts you can already go check out. There's one from Conan O'Brien, The Nerdist, and several TV broadcasters like CBS and CNBC. And maybe everyday people like you are more your style: this page shows the hangouts going on right now.
This does seem like a pretty great thing. It looks like it can be used for virtually anything, and concerts seem to be a pretty popular thing. I wonder what the possibilities of people hanging out at a ballgame might bring...will that even be allowed?
The video above shows a bunch of chefs getting together. It could be a fun, entertaining, and enlightening feature, although I'm sure someone out there will use it for evil, just like everything. What Google is doing here gives them distinction from Facebook and Twitter: they really want video to be their social calling card. They want to make it more about watching rather than reading. And with live video, you get all the unpolished, uncensored glory.
Here's another video advertising Hangouts On Air:
How do you think this new feature will be used? Will this be like satellite TV broadcasting millions of live streams where people find their favorite "channel" and follow it like regular TV, or do you think businesses will get involved with this and make meetings easier, or even create live "advertising" for their products? Seems to me like all the possibilities are true if it catches on.