Hanging Out on the Web Together with Google+ Hangout
July 19th, 2011 by Sandi Moxley
“Google+” is Google’s new and improved version of a social media network…. Like Facebook, only Google.
Currently, when I bring up Google+ into conversation, people either give one of two possible reactions: “huh?” or “what does it have that Facebook doesn’t?”. Now, I must admit I’ve been putting off doing my due diligence to research and learn about Google+. I’ve been waiting around for everyone else I know to figure out the social network and get back to me. My waiting around paid off.
Over the weekend while on Skype, a loved one told me about a cool new feature of Google+ called “Hangout”. With Google Hangout you can video chat while simultaneously watching streaming videos together from YouTube. In essence, the two of us were hanging out at YouTube. Here the two of us are, in different countries watching “Llamas with Hats” and “Bootleg Fireworks”. Together.
Currently Google+’s (wait, how am I supposed to work an apostrophe into Google+?) Hangout is currently limited to just YouTube. So users can video chat, even in groups, while browsing and watching any of YouTube’s videos simultaneously. My brain imagines the next logical step to be to integrate more video streaming sites, for example Hulu. Imagine people in different locations “hanging out” at Hulu. You guys’d always be able to watch your shows together, no matter where anyone is. So cool, right?
But I like to ask “what does it all mean?”. So let’s take the mind game of fun a little further: Maybe hanging out at a specific site potentially evolves into hanging out on the internet, with groups moving around to and from various locations. Can this lead to people hanging out together, browsing, perusing, and looking around the entire web together? Imagine how we walk the streets, sometimes alone, sometimes with others, and translate this onto the World Wide Web. Just a thought.