Google is launching its much-hyped ‘Hangouts On Air’ feature on its Google+ social network, offering users a webcam community that lets groups broadcast and share video live. The new platform lets users broadcast live video to anyone with a mobile phone, live from major events or even their own living rooms. 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+.
Watch a video outlining how to use the service below:
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.
Google had initially offered up the feature to a limited number of users of its social network, but this week finally opened up access for everyone.
“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,” Google wrote in a blog post.
The feature will also suggest public hangouts that its users can tune to, such as shows with Conan O’Brien.
Google said that over the next few weeks, it will be “launching millions of live stations” to its users.
“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.
“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.
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.
Watch the announcement video below:
Read the official blog post here.