What is a Google Hangout?

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Online communication has gone a long way since the chat rooms of yesteryear. Today, we have mobile instant messaging (IM) apps that can integrate with desktops, allowing users to share text, voice notes, videos, and other file types. Google, the world’s most popular search engine, offers an online chat service that is unified throughout its websites and apps. This is Google Hangouts, and it packs a punch when it comes to conferencing and sharing data. Let’s have a look at what Google Hangouts is, how you can access it, and a few benefits of using the Google service:

Google Hangouts in a nutshell

Do you have a Gmail address? Who doesn’t, right? Google offers too many amazing services to remember, but one that isn’t soon forgotten is Hangouts. It’s a free add-on to certain Google services – one of which is Gmail. Open up your emails and look to the bottom-left of the screen. Google Hangouts allows you to instant message Gmail users in your address book, instead of having to formally email them which fills up inboxes. An active chat appears as a pop-up window at the bottom-right of a computer screen when showing the Gmail home screen.

Google Hangouts is even better on mobile devices, and acts similarly to WhatsApp, WeChat, and similar instant messaging and file-sharing mobile platforms. Google Hangouts has over 1 billion downloads on the Google Play app store, proving its popularity. So, to answer the main question which prompted the development of this article, a Google Hangout is simply the IM chat or video call that someone facilitates. Users can set up a Hangout with multiple team members, allowing for online conferencing.

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Benefits of Google Hangouts

Why is Google Hangouts considered an excellent starting point for growing teams? We’ve found four benefits of using this Google service in your organisation:

  • Sharing files

File sharing is effortless in a Google Hangout, regardless of format. Images, voice messages, videos, ZIP files, documents, and other files can be shared on a Hangout and are freely downloadable for the users participating in the communication.

  • Collaboration

Team Hangouts are perfect for the workplace, and can be conducted in a number of ways. Office workers can discuss the workplace rumours via text chatrooms. Suspicious human resources managers can video or voice call sick employees.

  • Faster than email

The age of the email is slowly coming to an end, and proponents of online formality are heartbroken. As more and more individuals and brands use IM technologies to communicate, soon all communication (be it inter-personal or professional) will be conducted via IM or voice.

  • Cost effective

Google Hangouts is a free service for Google users, and can be enhanced to accommodate larger teams with a paid Google G Suite account. The free version is perfect for smaller teams and can really boost a start-up’s initial marketing strategy.

An effective marketing agency uses a rock-solid chat and information sharing suite, and Google Hangouts doesn’t disappoint.

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