Have you been asked to take part in a Google+ Hangout, either as part of the Zestee Social Media School, for a meeting or perhaps by a friend? If you’re not sure how, here’s some help to get started.
“Hangouts” are an app (feature) offered by Google. You can use this feature either on your computer, smartphone or tablet. Basically, they are a live video chat, similar to a Skype call.
To learn more about Google+ Hangouts, please visit the Google+Hangouts page. This includes extensive information and instructions on how to take part and will be kept up to date by Google so is the best resource, however I have also given my own summary below.
Note at the top right, in grey (under the blue banner) are tabs for the three types of Google+ Hangouts:
1. (regular) Hangouts: when you create a “spontaneous” hangout with connections
2. On Air: these are hangout sessions that are broadcast live, then recorded and sent to a YouTube channel. (more on these in another post)
3. Schedule: create or tune into scheduled hangouts
Here is my own summary of how to take part in a Google+ Hangout.
To participate, you will need to do the following:
1. Set up a Google+ account at plus.google.com – please note that in doing so, you are complying with the Google terms and conditions so please take a look at these, as well as checking your security and privacy settings.
2. Log into your Google+ account at plus.google.com.
3. Create or join a Hangout: On the top right hand side of your screen, you will see a section called “hangouts”. This is where you will be able to create a new hangout yourself by clicking on the + New Hangout and entering the name of the person you wish to “hangout” with.
If you are logged in and someone invites you, a notification will pop up on your screen to join a hangout.
4. Install the Google+ Hangout Plugin – the first time you click to create or join a Hangout, you will need to install the plugin on your computer. You can also install this as an app on your phone or tablet.
You can also install before your first hangout, by going directly to http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/hangouts/ and then scrolling down to this section and clicking on the relevant link.
This is similar to any programme or app and as above, you may wish to check the terms and conditions. You will need to give it access to your camera and microphone to be able to use it properly. If you wish to use screenshare (an app within Hangouts where you see each other’s screens), you will also have to authorise access for this.
These instructions to join a hangout are based on current information and please note that Google may change this! Please feel free to comment below if these instructions have been helpful or need updating. They have been written as part of the Zestee Social Media School with the goal of making social media easier for you & your business.