Although it’s been two years since the launch of Google+, we’re still struggling to determine why we need it. It has never quite been a match for the success of Facebook or Twitter. However, “Hangouts” have been an unmitigated success of Google +.
A New Way to Interact In fact, ‘Hangouts’ only seems to be going from strength to strength, and is proving to revolutionize the way we collaborate in business and educational environments. This emerging importance in real-time communication is one feature that Google is really bringing home, and this gives them the advantage over Microsoft and other rivals.
When Google+ was first introduced, it was a bit of a social media mystery, with functional yet fractured and inconsistent messaging systems that didn’t seem to make much sense to anyone involved. It needed a fix and fast, but how could it all pull together?
Hangouts App Since then, Google has really taken advantage of the popularity of its Hangouts by broadening the product into an app, taking it far beyond simple video chat – which is exactly what it announced at this year’s I/O. Since then, the new Hangouts messaging app has gone even further to provide everything we need to readily communicate; and it works. The days of needing a high speed internet connection are gone, now you can host a hangout from anywhere!
The new app fits with Android, iOS, Gmail and Chrome, and encompasses text, voice and video – putting an end to its fragmented communication tools. The best part is, people are now using Hangouts on a day-to-day basis in order to accomplish real world tasks, and they’re loving it.
Why use Hangouts? In the education forum, people are using Hangouts as an important tool evolving online learning and taking it to a whole new level by dealing with student questions and answers.
But why should we use it in business?
The business world is already benefiting from its value for situations such as corporate meetings and keeping things on schedule. With Hangouts, you know when someone is online or when they are typing, and you can easily exchange files, photos or have a quick video call. If the person you want to speak to isn’t online, you can get a notification when they are, and it’s easy to keep track of all your Hangouts. It’s also fun and helps make your business more interactive!
Hangouts are particularly great for tech insiders and people who want to stay connected to their customers. For instance they can announce in their newsletter that they’re hosting a Hangout, instantly getting the company more attention. The addition of “‘if you can’t make it, we’ll have the video for you later” will also attract more viewers.
Google is promoting Hangouts in its pitches to small businesses for Plus, because of its huge increase in popularity.
Are Hangouts the Future? Google+ may still be criticized in the press, but there’s one thing most can agree on; Hangouts are emerging at the forefront of social media for business and educational use, and Google is finally thinking in straight lines.
As time goes on, the brand can only improve and learn from its mistakes, so what could be next for Google? Whatever new developments we might see in upcoming years, such as high-tech glasses or table-top hi-res screens, we’re sure there’s a future in there (somewhere) for Hangouts.