Mountain View, California -- Broadcast your events live to friends, family and fans-After being only available to those select people for about a year, Google+ users who tap into hangouts to broadcast a message via video can now communicate with the rest of the world. On Monday, Google snapped the beta tags off Hangouts On Air, which gives users worldwide the ability to create instant Webcasts over Google+, the company's fledgling social media networking site.
When Google+ unveiled Hangouts last September, it was a major win for Google's social networking service. It was the major defining feature for a lot of people and set Google+ apart from the competition.
Now you can broadcast video live to your friends and your followers around the world as the Google+ Hangouts On Air functionality has gone global, Google announced today, indicating that you can now share yourself via video with Google+ users in 40 other countries.
While the launch of Hangouts On Air to the masses is already a huge victory for Google, the company is launching it with some extra features that make it even better. Just think of the possibilities: host an improvise comedy show that invites fans to participate over the Web, broadcast a live concert to your fans, or host a live gaming session to show off the new features coming to a tabletop game.
Moreover, through the service, members who are seeking to connect with the larger Web audience can do so through checking “Enable Hangouts On Air,” where users can broadcast their live Hangout from the Google+ stream or the user's YouTube channel or Website.
Interestingly, some nifty feature during broadcast allows you to easily view how many people are watching you live. And once your live show is finished, Google will upload a public recording of your broadcast to your Google+ post and your YouTube channel so that people late to the live party can check it out.
Mostly, the standard Hangout's features help facilitate group video chat, with a maximum of 10 people participating in a single Hangout at any time, though anyone on the Web can join in if they possess the URL leading to the page. The company said the rollout would take place gradually over a period of weeks, due to the immense process of launching millions of live stations simultaneously. News programs like “CBS This Morning,” entertainers such as Conan O'Brien, and the Global Poverty project launch this week, according to a Google blog post.
Lastly, as the competition intensifies, this latest platform is one of many tactics Google is employing to lure members of other social media sites like Facebook, which counts 900 million members worldwide, and the microblogging site Twitter.
For more, check out our slideshow of Google+, here.