A couple of days ago, I wrote a piece called â€śThe Future of Online Video Meetingsâ€ś, and while I didnâ€™t discuss any particular tools and technology, Google has done a phenomenal job with its Hangout feature for Google+.
Just this year, the team has added screensharing, the ability to place a dog or cat mask on your face in real-time, and have tempted some pretty important public figures into giving the service a try.
The company is even putting commercials on TV about the product, promoting the fact that you can join a Google+ Hangout from your phone:
The Google+ team has announced some new changes that make it easier to invite friends to a Google+ Hangout. Hereâ€™s what the team had to say:
Once youâ€™re inside the hangout, youâ€™ll see the familiar â€śinviteâ€ť dialog on one side. On the other, however, youâ€™ll now see pictures of people in your circles:
- Those currently online appear higher in the list, making it easier to hang out right away
- You can also hover over a particular person to see their online status
- Simply click on a personâ€™s face to add them to your invite list
Once your list is set, just hit the â€śInviteâ€ť button to invite your friends to your hangout
The new UI for inviting friends is a welcome addition and being able to simply click on the picture of your friend to invite them is as simple as it gets:
By filling up your list of friends to join the Hangout, all you have to do is click the â€śinviteâ€ť button and everyone will get the invite. The simplicity of the feature blows away other online video solutions like Skype, and itâ€™s fun to watch the company continually evolve it.
One of the things Iâ€™d love to see one day is the ability for a brand to have a live Hangout going on at all times, as part of its customer support process. People could enter the live meeting throughout the day and the company could simply have a dedicated staff member available as theyâ€™re working their normal hours.
Face to face is infinitely better than the written word and Google knows that.