Google+ Huddles & Hangouts

Today we’re going to dig into some of the other great features of Google+.  Specifically Huddles and Hangouts.

7-18-2011 8-09-59 PMHangouts – First up is the group video chat feature of Google+ called a Hangout.  Essentially, I can click “Start Hangout” and if you are following me, a notification will come into your stream that I am “hanging out”.  Up to 9 more people can come join me in my hangout and talk.

One thing that is great about this is that if I’m bored and feel like talking to anyone, I can start a hangout and whoever else wants to join me can hop on and join.  It’s less threatening than requesting to video chat with you specifically.  Also the fact that 10 people can hang out together at any given time is a great way to collaborate.  I’ve always been very much an “in person” kind of talker.  I hate the phone, and love texting and face to face interaction.

You can start the hangout and share it only with specific circles, because you don’t want your work friend dropping by a conversation you are having with all of your siblings!  There are two places you can specify which circles you want to “hangout” with.  When you start the hangout you can choose which circles, and then after you can invite specific circles from within the hangout.

googleplus-huddleNext up is a Huddle.  This is available on the Android version of Google+.  A Huddles is basically a text message group.  You can have a Huddle for your Girl”s Night Out friends, which will make it much easier to coordinate the next event.  Basically if you have a group of people you text on a regular basis, this part of Google+’s Android app will make that task oh so much easier.

This is just more proof that Google is serious about helping you share content with the people that want to receive it.  Google is giving you the tools you need to communicate and share via text or video chat with a group of people that care about the same things instead of the one to one interaction we are used to.

While Facebook and Twitter gave us access to brands, Google+ is giving us access to the people behind the brands.  Michael Dell regularly creates hangouts (that fill up in split seconds), and I see more and more “important” people becoming so much more accessible through this service.  Time will tell if that will change as the masses (see: spammers) join in and ruin it for the rest of us.

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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website

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