Video Chat with Google+: Better Than Skype?

[box options]This is the forth post in the series “Social Media for Artists.” Social media shouldn’t be a drudgery–at its core, it’s communicating creatively. Today’s topic: video chat with Google+.[/box]

When Google+ made its debut on the social media scene, many thought it would overtake Facebook.

It hasn’t, and it probably won’t. It does, however, have a few features many creatives may find helpful for creative collobation for working with others online. Namely: hangouts.

Video Chat with Google+

The What and Why of Google+ Hangouts

Plain and simple, Google+ hangouts are video chats with a number of stellar features. Initially, hangouts allowed for nine other people to join, view, and chat.

Other options for video chatting include:

So why would anyone choose to video chat with Google+ over these other options?

Here’s a few reasons in 1 minute 27 seconds.


Getting Started

1. If you already have a Gmail account, you’re ready to go.

2. Click the “Start a Hangout” button.

3. Invite your cohorts to chat it up, collaborate creatively, or play with all the silly pirate hats, glasses, beards, and headbands.


The Biggest Bonus

Recently, video chats with Google+ got even sweeter with a feature called “Hangouts on Air.” By enabling this feature, your othewise private video chat with 9 other friends now goes LIVE to anyone who wishes to use it. Ustream killer? Maybe.

What makes it even sweeter is that when a hangout is ‘on air’ it’s automatically saved to your YouTube account (like the video above of me with the pirate hat).

Uses for Google+ Hangouts on Air might include:

  • Hosting a virtual conference that you want to make available to others who couldn’t attend live.
  • Tutorials on how to use software as you screen share (great for graphic designers and programmers).
  • Collaboration on projects with team members from different locations, with the bonus of having the conversation recorded.

[box options]While you’re exploring Google+, go ahead and add me to your Google+ circle by clicking here. I’ve been doing weekly chats with producers, writers, actors, and other artists and would love to connect with you as well.[/box]

Have you tried video chat with Google+? Is it a Skype killer?


Author: Andrew Zahn

I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.

  • Interesting. I haven’t tried Google+ Hangouts yet, but I’ll have to check it out sometime soon.

    • Andrew Zahn

      It’s a sweet tool.

  • Timely! The dance studio I teach for has a hard time getting staff together for meetings, what with everyone’s schedules and remote residences. I had initially suggested Skype to the owner, but your video showed me that Google+ hangouts has some great features. I think I’ll come to our first staff hangout in a moustache. Thanks, Andrew!

    • Andrew Zahn

      That’s so fantastic!

      Nothing like a little moustache to add levity to online meeting. Plus, you can save the video and use it for later trainings if needed!

      As always, thanks for stopping by. Hope all of your work is going well!

  • Definitely a Skype killer. And though Google+ hasn’t overtaken Facebook yet, I’m confident that people will come around and see that Google has just done social networking better. Especially with the direction Facebook is heading… can you say “Advertising frenzy”… not looking good.

    I’m now hosting client meetings, Master Classes, Mastermind sessions, creative collaborations, and family calls all through Hangouts. It’s the best thing since Al Gore invented the internet. 😉

    • Andrew Zahn

      Agree completely Dustin.

      I have weekly chats with producers, writers, and musicians and we’ve switched from Skype to Google+ as well. It’s an added bonus that we can record it if needed.

      Thanks for dropping by!

    • When I read this post, I thought of you, Dustin! You are the face of Google+ for many of us. You were singing its accolades months before the rest of us caught on. Now, it’s fast become a staple for anyone’s internet use.

      Hard to get through the online day without clicking on Google at least once.

  • Andrew,

    I’m sharing this post with Kathy’s family. They have been hard to sell Google+ Hangouts to. I’ve been trying for MONTHS!

    Just between us (and all of your readers), they don’t want to set up a new Google+ account for privacy issues. But they think nothing of entering their credit card online anywhere at all.

    What drives me nuts is when they continue to say “I wish we could all Skype at one time, sort of like a conference video call.”

    Makes me bonkers.

    Maybe the “pirate feature” will attract them. It attracted me. You had me at “Google Plus chats”.

    • Those silly little features! Fun!

  • Aliasgar Babat

    I agree that Google+ is a great tool for casual, social gatherings online and I prefer it over Skype. But for business meetings, I would prefer a more secured solution such as RHUB’s appliance because it works from behind my firewall.