May 9, 2012
Google Rolling Out ‘Hangouts On Air’ Feature To The World
Google is rolling out its Hangouts On Air feature on its Google+ social network to all of its users around the world.
Google had initially offered up the feature to a limited number of users of its social network, but as of Tuesday, it has now opened up access for everyone.
Google originally launch the service last year, "Since then, this small community has grown the feature in lots of creative ways. And they´ve made one thing crystal clear: when groups of passionate individuals can broadcast live, together, the results are truly remarkable," according to a Google blog post.
The feature will also suggest public hangouts that its users can tune to, such as shows with Conan O'Brien.
Individuals can now broadcast to anyone with a cell phone, live from major events or even their own living rooms.
Google said that over the next few weeks, it will be "launching millions of live stations" to its users.
Other services, such as Ustream or Qik, already have similar features that stream live video from a phone or computer. However, these services are not paired with YouTube like Google+.
"Broadcast publicly. By checking 'Enable Hangouts On Air,' you can broadcast your live hangout –from the Google+ stream, your YouTube channel or your website – to the entire world," Google said in its announcement.
Google said in its blog post that users will be able to see how many viewers they have while they are broadcasting.
Over the next few weeks, Google will be hosting a number of news agencies and celebrities to help attract users to its site, including: CBS This Morning, CNBC, The New York Times, and Jamie Oliver.
Google said that President Barack Obama, Governor Mitt Romney, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and others have connected with citizens through its hangout service.
"So if you have something to say--as an aspiring artist, a global celebrity, or a concerned citizen--you can now go live in front of a global audience," Google engineering director Chee Chew said in a blog post on Monday.
Google+ now has over 100 million users, and has been operating publicly for nearly 11 months. Facebook, the world's largest social networking service, has over 900 million users.