When I need video conferencing for client training sessions I often use Skype video calls but I’m also using Google+ hangouts more and more frequently.
If you’re thinking that Hangouts have to be public and might accidentally end up recorded on YouTube, that’s not the case. Different types of Hangout offer different levels of privacy.
1. Hangout Message Box
This is similar to a live chat, using only text.
2. Hangout Video Calls
These are private and can only be accessed by people who you invite. They are not broadcast or recorded.
Ten people in total can attend.
This is the option that I think is a great alternative to Skype. Read more below.
3. Hangouts on Air
These can be broadcast and they create a video recording on YouTube.
You can control the privacy settings of the YouTube video.
The broadcast can be:
- Private > Anyone with permission can see it
- Unlisted > Only people with the link can see it
- Public > Everyone can see it.
These settings relate to both the live Hangout broadcast and the YouTube recording.
Hangouts on Air are a great way to reach a wide audience with your video content. It’s an easy way to create a YouTube video which has all the benefits of helping you get found both in Google and on YouTube.
Similar to needing a Skype account, you need a Google+ account to use Hangouts. Even if you’re not active on Google+ socially, you probably have an account if you have a Gmail, YouTube, AdWords or Google Analytics account.
Three reasons to use a Google+ Hangout for your next video call
1. Google+ hangouts are completely FREE to use, whereas I currently pay a monthly fee for Skype premium so that I can access screen sharing.*
*Note: Since writing this article I have learned that along with group chat, screen sharing is now a free feature on Skype (it wasn’t when I set up my Premium account). That’s good news!
2. Hangouts offer a better quality connection than Skype. This is my personal experience anyway. I haven’t had as many drop-outs as I experience with Skype, the screen sharing delay isn’t as prominent and the quality of screen sharing is better.
Why not try if for yourself and let me know what you think?
3. As mentioned above, just like Skype, Hangouts can be completely private. They don’t need to be recorded, or broadcast via YouTube.
Plus, doesn’t it sound more fun to Hangout with someone?
How do you start a Hangout Video Call?
Like all things Google, there are different ways to start a Hangout Video Call. But like Skype, once you’ve used it once you’ll be a pro.
More useful links
P.S. Want to learn more about Google+ Hangouts and build your Hangout confidence?
I learned about Google Plus Hangouts the easy way, via Ronnie Bincer’s Hangout Foundations online training course. It takes you from Hangout basics to Hangout confidence via a step-by-step, go at your own pace video training program. And it’s backed up by a 100% Satisfaction Money-Back Guarantee.
Please note: This is an affiliate link but I only ever recommend products that I’ve used myself and know to be awesome value and full of quality content.
Melinda aka Mel is a Premier Google Partner, AdWords & Analytics Consultant, Speaker and Trainer and co-owner of Click-Winning Content. Mel provides results-driven services to Australian businesses and is committed to never using an acronym without explaining it first. She also likes grand slam tennis, cracked pepper and Melbourne sunsets. Please connect at the links below.