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How To Use Google+ Hangouts: A Step-By-Step Guide

If you haven’t tried Google+ Hangouts, you may be missing out on an opportunity to share and chat with your friends or contacts in a live environment. This great online networking tool is a phenomenal way to connect with others in a virtual environment where you can share videos, documents or just web chat like you were all in the same room. It can be used for work applications such as training or meetings, or just used to “hangout” with your friends, wherever they may be!

Getting Started With Google+ Hangout

To get started using Hangouts, you first need to log into the home screen at Google+. You should be able to see your friends’ activity on this screen. To initiate Hangouts, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the green Hangouts button. Look on the right sidebar. Click on the “Start a Hangout” button.
  2. Add friends or circles. A pop up window will ask you to “check your hair and make sure your mic works”.  Below the video window, click on the “add more people” button. You can add up to 9 people (ten total including you) to your Hangout session.
  3. Select circles or friends. A drop down menu will appear to choose circles. Everyone in the circle will be invited automatically unless you click the “x” near the circle to eliminate those you do not want to attend.
  4. Confirm your invites. Once you have selected who you want to invite, click on the green “Hangout” button to start your session. A window will pop up with everyone connected to the room.
  5. Use the toolbar. At the bottom of the screen is a toolbar to use for your Hangout session.

Toolbar Options

Once you have your session started, you can use the toolbar to add people, start chat and share videos and documents.

  • Chat. To instant message everyone in the Hangout, use the “chat” button, second from the far left.
  • YouTube. To watch videos off YouTube together, click on the third button from the left to launch YouTube.
  • Mute. You can shut off your camera so you are “blacked out” by clicking on the mute video button or mute your microphone with the mute mic button.
  • Settings. To change your microphone, camera or sound settings, use the settings button that is second from the far right.

Once you have gotten used to the basic Hangout features, you can also try “hangouts with extras” by clicking on that link. It will bring up additional options for you to try.

Google+ Hangouts can be used for social reasons or in a work environment. Whenever you want to be able to talk to share videos or documents with a small group of people in different locations, it can be a useful and fun tool to connect across the globe. Talk to your Virtual Assistant via a Hangout to discuss the many uses this application can have for your business.

 photo credit: kittymarie

Posted on April 22nd, 2013 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

1 Comment »

Crissy says:

I am thankful to have found this how-to! My client holds a Google Hangout each week, and this helped me make the first hangout a success!

Posted: November 3, 2013 @ 2:24 pm

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