Confession. I’m in love with Google + Hangouts. Yes, I’ve been completely bitten by the video chat bug. Skype and Facetime have been around for quite a while…what took me so long to discover the joys of digitally-enabled face-to-face interaction?
If you haven’t tried a Hangout yet, let me share 3 killer reasons why you shouldn’t wait any longer…
1 – Humanize Your Conference Call
Hangouts are a terrific way to put faces with new names – with long-distance remote or office-based employees alike and customers you don’t get to see very often. Hangouts can be 1:1 spontaneous sessions or planned with very little advance time with up to nine (9) team members. The Google Effects feature lets you try out silly hats, eclectic eyewear and other goodies – all allowing you bring a little fun to the mix as an engaging icebreaker.
2 – Create Virtual Creative Collaboration Spaces
The screen share feature in Hangouts can quickly transform into dynamic white board with the right lighting and camera quality. So fire up the post-its and get those markers working – you can now facilitate brainstorming sessions or co-work on a slew of documents all in real-time.
3 – Capture the Discussion
Hangouts are recordable with the click of a button. A great feature if you want to share an interview, tutorial or recap of an event.
In the end, Google + Hangouts won me over through pure simplicity. It takes mere minutes to set up, you can access it from a web browser or their mobile app and best of all its free. Because of Google+, I finally started using Facetime on my iPad. While it was another viable option to connect over video – I found the wireless-only access mode through Apple hardware and audience of one-to-one connection not as adaptive to my professional collaboration needs. Surprisingly, Facebook and other social platforms don’t appear to be venturing into video communication anytime soon. Who knows, perhaps G+ Hangouts could be the beginning of an epic advantage in the war for social media dominance.