Google has announced opening its “Hangouts on Air” feature to the entire public. Google Hangouts on Air was launched on September 2011 along with the launch of the Google+ social network, as an extension of the Google+ Hangouts; while Google+ Hangouts, a live video chat feature, was meant to provide an intimate “get together” between a group of friends, family members or between clients and service providers, Google+ Hangouts on Air had wider audiences on its mind from the start.
Until now, Google+ Hangouts on Air was limited to a small group of broadcasters. Barack Obama was one of the first celebrities to try this technology and participate in a live Google+ Hangout last January. Now this feature is open worldwide, and Google+ invites every “aspiring artist, a global celebrity, or a concerned citizen” (not to mention every inhibited exhibitionist) to record and broadcast their show. Google+ broadcasters will also enjoy real-time analytics tool, allowing them to see the number of views during broadcast.
Google + Hangouts and YouTube Live
Since Google also owns YouTube, the world’s largest video sharing network, the live broadcasts will be available for repeated view on the broadcaster’s YouTube channel. Now that you think of it, Google already has a live streaming service – it is called YouTube Live and it has celebrated its first anniversary last month with a presentation of several new features: pay-per-view, real-time analytics, and more.
Does this move mark the integration of Google+ Hangouts on Air and YouTube Live? As YouTube Live is still limited to a selected group of content publishers, Google+ Hangouts on Air is now open for everyone. Everyone who has a Google Plus account that is.
To summarize it, if you want to broadcast live on YouTube, don’t wait for YouTube Live to be rolled out globally, simply open a Google Plus account.