How to Use Google Hangouts
One of the most exciting new developments in social media communication this year has been Google+’s new interactive communication feature, Google Hangouts.
Hangouts itself is not new – but Google has added the ability for everyone in the hangout to video conference and chat in multiple ways and freshened up its user interface for maximum ease of use.
Step 2. Hangouts Creating
If you haven’t yet created a Hangout, it’s time to do so.
- Click on any of the “Create a Hangout” buttons found all over this section.
You’ll be surprised and pleased to see all your favorite influencers and friends suggested as potential hangout members.
- Fill in your information, adding the names of those you’d like to invite. As you begin to type, Google will automatically enter them.
Notice you can enter people by name or email address, plus you can enter circles too.
Clicking on “Hangout Options” is no big deal. It simply opens a separate window, enabling you to:
- Restrict minors from joining the Hangout
- Set your language preference
- Press the blue “Hang out” button, and instantly your Hangout is created. You will see a moving camera icon, and a notification letting you know that your Hangout is active – you are waiting for people to respond.
4. As they do so, you will see pictures appear beside your own profile photo, indicating people have joined you. If nothing happens for a while, however, you can click the “Invite more” button to see if anyone else is available.
- If you’ve used Hangouts before, you’ll notice that your tools have all moved over to a left-hand, vertical menu. This makes it easy to change functions, mid-hangout; for example, switching from “Chat” to “Screen share”, perhaps to demonstrate something.
Notice also that the name of your Hangout will appear in the top bar, just to remind people who they’re hanging out with – and why!
- When you’re in your Hangout, you can add apps and use them. Again, you can only use one app at a time.
Step 3. Getting Used to Hangout Changes
As mentioned, in the new interface, your tools are now in the left-hand vertical menu, freeing up the area where people interact. You can easily remove or use apps. Alerts will appear in red, actions in blue and announcements in grey.
The left hand vertical menu area (and immediately beside it) is where you will see apps that are being used displayed by name/icon, invites and functions such as chat.
You can remove an app simply by clicking on it and selecting the remove option. You can follow this up by adding a new app.
Apps such as Google Drive, which allow you to create and share documents right on screen or functions such as Screenshare, which allows you to share any document, program or application window open on your computer make Hangouts extremely interactive and versatile – the perfect vehicle for interacting in “real time” with friends, fans or and business colleagues. And “Chat” allows you to click on anyone’s thumbnail screen picture and interact with them – all with one click.
At any time while you’re in Hangouts, you can also go down to the bottom of your left-hand, vertical Tools menu and select “Help”.
This opens up the Hangouts Help section in a separate window, while your main Hangout is still functioning. It will not flip you out of your hangout, so you can quickly check points or look up topics.
This new interface actually makes Hangouts much easier and more pleasing to use, so getting used to any changes is a non-issue.
Enjoy the improvements!
Using Google Hangouts Summary
In this portion of the series you should have learned how to create your own hangout. Google has made it much easier to create hangouts. So enjoy Google hangouts!