During last week’s big developers conference: Google I/O, the company announced many new software features and services. Among them was their new way to communicate by making conversations come alive called Google Hangouts.
Previously, Google had multiple chat services spread out among different apps & platforms. They had Google Talk, Google Messenger, But that is now a thing of the past.
What Is Google Hangouts?
Google wants you to stop worrying about what app to use to reach a friend. With Google Hangouts a lot of things apps and forms of sharing come together. Hangouts will merge Google Talk, Google+ Messenger, & Google+ Hangout video chat to bring one service for your communication needs. You can use right from your Gmail on your desktop. You can upgrade Chat to Hangouts by clicking on your photo icon in Gmail’s chat list.
Check out some of Google Hangouts features:
- You can name your own chat,
- create group chat rooms,
- Google Hangouts has over 850 emoticons,
- you can share photos,
- do a group video chat of up to 10 people,
- and sync conversations between devices.
Not only is that cool but it will also become available across multiple platforms (Android, iOS, & the web). SMS integration isn’t available now but it on the way. Once they add Google Voice support, this will be your all-in-one app to handle all of your communication needs.
Download Google Hangouts
Download Google Hangouts for Android (although it should replace your Google Talk app when the app is updated).
Download Google Hangouts for Apple iOS.
Download Google Hangouts for your desktop / Chrome Extension
How many of you already use Google Talk? With the popularity of Gmail, and the ease of Google Hangouts integration, i think Hangouts will become very popular for communicating. It may become the new AIM of today!
UK high street clothing staple Topshop has teamed up with Google+ for this season’s London Fashion Week. According to The Next Web, the theme for the fashion outlet this time around is to re-imagine the future of the fashion show. While the online activity of the Topshop Google London Fashion Week collaboration will be engaging, the actual event will be taking place at The Tanks at the Tate Modern in London, England.
Those who are not able to snag tickets for the catwalk can naturally tune in online. Not only will the runway be on show, but model profiles, the work of makeup artists, designer fittings and celebrity arrivals will be accessible.
The Topshop Google London Fashion Week collaboration makes fashion accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Topshop has already been setting up for its show on Google+ with content around the making of the event complete with model diaries and product design. Fans of the stream can also try for tickets to see the event and on February 17, exclusive content will be posted along with material onYouTube.
Interestingly this year Topshop Google London Fashion Week collaboration is also adding ‘Model Cam’. It’s pretty much as it sounds. The model diaries provide a narrative of the ‘Road to the runway’ and followers can read up on the experiences of Cara Delevigne, Jourdan Dunn, Rosie Tapner and Ashleigh Good who will be updating their activities from first fittings to the bright lights of the catwalk.
A Google+ photo booth has been installed where users can try on outfits and create a moving image on a catwalk which will be uploaded in an interactive digital shop window and appear on the company’s Google+ page. It’s only at Topshop’s flagship store on Oxford street for now, but hopefully the Google+ booth will make it’s way to American locations soon. Until then, enjoy London Fashion Week from the comfort of your laptop or online with live streaming on DivasandDorks.com soon.
Are you looking forward to more fashion being accessible via technology? What brand are you looking forward to connecting with in a unique way online soon?
Pushing the limits of Google’s new technology, singer/songwriter Daria Musk performed a 6.5 hour Google+ Hangout concert that became a worldwide phenomenon, ultimately reaching thousands of viewers around the globe, from Norway to Australia to Argentina. With the support of Google, whose Director of Engineering, Chee Chew, attended the Hangout and provided technical assistance throughout the concert, Daria performed all night for fans who created an etiquette of staying for a few songs before leaving the Hangout so that fans-in-waiting could jump in.
Overcome by the response from fans around the world and the media (the story has been picked up by CNN, Reuters and other international information outlets), Daria now prepares for round two, scheduling a second performance that she has described to her fans as a “Gl+bal G+thering of G+niuses” for thisSaturday, July 23, at 7 p.m. ET, under the direction of Google’s top engineers. Her innovative idea to give live concerts to online viewers has Google updating their newly launched Google+ Hangout technology, so that the young artist’s performances circle the globe many times over.
“Google’s new Hangout technology is a real game-changer for the music industry,” said Sean Wolfington, owner of Tier 10 Marketing, which pioneered the digital marketing strategy for Grammy Award-winning musician Shakira. Since the concert, Wolfington’s marketing and public relations agency now also represents Musk (www.Tier10Marketing.com). “Traditionally the record labels dictated which artists get exposure; however, this cutting edge technology introduces a whole new platform that talented artists like Daria can leverage to take control of their exposure.”
As a result of her virtual concert, +DariaMusk has landed on the list of “Interesting People to Circle on Google+” on BusinessInsider.com, which writes: “Musk is growing a grassroots following on Google+, and gives free concerts via Hangouts (Google+’s cool mass video chat feature). Add her if you like music.”
From a technology perspective, Daria’s concert changed how Google+ Hangouts are used and perceived. Post concert, Chew posted, “just had the privilege of attending the first known pro level Hangout jam session.”
“We, at Google+, are passionate about bringing people together,” said Chew to his Google+ network earlier this month. “For us on hangouts it’s about really connecting small groups together face to face (to face to face), bringing people together from around the world in a new way. We all have a human need to connect and communicate.”
Are you still looking for you Google+ INVITE? Click HERE.
Which Superstar Will Become The Next Virtual Concert Newsmaker? Beyonce? Lady Gaga? We’ll see…
As I recover from my Eastcoast/Westcoast time hiatus…I came across an interesting social media tidbit via Mashable that I think my divas would be interested in…We all know that you’re into the fashion and social media thing and that many of you are early adapters (and adopters) to the latest and greatest gadgets and social media trends.
Check out this interesting tidbit from the Google+ stats trackers: Three quarters (or more) of Google+ users are male.
SocialStatistics, a third-party site that gathers data from select profiles, pegs the percentage of male users at 86.8%, whileFindPeopleOnPlus, which curates information from about a million users, says men constitute 73.7% of Google+.
With around 60% of users identifying themselves as web developers or software engineers, that paints a fairly stereotypical picture of Google+’s userbase: nerdy guys who have deep understandings of technology and who don’t mind killing some time setting up Circles of friends.
It’s true that the early adopters of any new technology are usually male. But Google+ will have to appeal to a mainstream audience if it’s to reach mass adoption anytime soon. Consider the gender breakdown for Google+’s biggest competitor, Facebook. The social network is close to a 50-50 split between men and women. And some of Facebook’s most addicted, most enthusiastic users are women.
So in order to even out the playing field a bit! We’re handing out some Google+ invites to “DIVAS ONLY” (sorry Divos.) If you’re interested in receiving an invite and changing the shift in social media usage – shoot us an email at info (at) divasanddorks (dot) com and we’ll get you squared away to check out all the latest and greatest that Google + has to offer.
And by ugly, I mean UGLY!
I’m reminded of a printing pal of min in Charlotte, North Carolina by the name of Chris. As one of the original Greek inhabitants of the city of Charlotte he’s experienced an extraordinary life – from cooking for Marilyn Monroe during the war, meeting the POTUS & owning/operating the eldest printing company in Charlotte – Speedee Prints. As a peculiar and wildly sarcastic man, Chris would light up everytime I entered his business for printing services and would greet me with a line that I’ll never forget…
“Is that, that ugly girl Christen again?”
I’d laugh and say, yes its me.
He’d respond..“You know why I call you ugly right?”
“I figure that you’ve been called pretty all your life… If I’d call you ugly, you’d never forget me for as long as you live!”
Which in fact, is actually true. So true, that once I began drafting this story about the pros/cons of face-to-face chatting – I immediately thought to myself – “Is it really THAT important to see my ugly face during online chatting?”
With the launch of Google+ last week and this week’s “huge” Facebook announcement offering Skype video conferencing – I’m starting to wonder if face-to-face chatting is even all that exclusive anymore. Just earlier this week, Mashable announce the discovery that the friendliest MySpace friend ever (Tom) has been saying all along – MySpace was the first to offer Skype conferencing to friends over seven years ago.
See, video conferencing isn’t anything new. Has it advanced over the years? Yes. Will it continue to advance? Yes. Does that secure Facebook’s reign at the top forever? Yes, well um first let’s weigh the pros/cons of Google+ Hangout vs Facebook/Skype.
Facebook chat powered by Skype is simple to use – but first you have to download the plugin www.facebook.com/videocalling
Making a video call is easy. Select your friends (in the lower right-hand corner of your Facebook page) who are currently available on Facebook chat. Double-click a name, and you’ll see there’s a new icon at the top of the chat screen — a small video camera. Click it to send an invitation for that person to participate in a video chat. They’ll receive a pop-up notification to a video chat, and if they don’t have the plugin installed, they’ll be prompted to install it.
…and BOOM. YOU’RE CHATTING!
PROS: Fairly simple to use.
CONS: Audio / Video quality lags (A LOT) | You can chat one person at a time. | There’s no “chat-waiting” (if a person is chatting with someone else, you’ll have to leave a message.
Google+ Hangout is more fully featured than Facebook Video Calling — to begin with, it’s designed primarily for group chats rather than one-on-one talks — but, possibly because it’s a beta, it’s still got a few wrinkles to iron out.
As with Facebook, if you haven’t used Hangout before, you’ll be prompted to install a plug-in the first time you click on the “Start a hangout” button. Once it’s installed, you’re ready to go. Creating a Hangout is as simple as pressing the Start a hangout button on the right side of your main stream page (in Google+, your stream is the comments and notifications you get from everyone else). A separate video window then opens — this is your “hangout.”
The Hangout pop-out window is larger than the one that appears for Facebook Video Calling. You see a large video of the person to whom you’re talking in the main part of the screen. Across the bottom of the screen, there are thumbnails of everyone in the chat, including you. Google+ offers a number of interesting features with Hangout. You can text chat while you video chat, and you can also mute your audio and video. And if you’re tired to talking to each other, you can watch a video: Hangout also has a YouTube button that gives all participants the ability to watch the same YouTube video.
Since this is still limited to only a few users, I’ll just lay out the pros/cons here and will wait to hear about your experience with Google+.
PROS: Chat with more than one person simultaneously. | Share video and watch it simultaneously. | Text online while chatting.
CONS: Video lag was unbearable. | There are still alot of kinks to work out | Pixelated / blurry video | You can’t choose who you listen to (the main screen shifts alot if everyone speaks at once.)
Facebook’s video chat (at this moment) is more reliable and requires fewer system resources. (Believe it or not it has higher-quality video and audio.) On the other hand, Google+ Hangout is a more fully featured application, clearly designed for group video chat. Those who have made it into Google+ may find that some bugs need to be worked out, but in the long run, Google+ could prove to be the “Facebook killer” that everyone is hyping it up to be…and you could see my ugly face coming soon to a computer screen near you 🙂