What you could use Google+ Hangouts for if you actually used Google+.
Poor Google+. I want to like you. I’ve already pledged my allegiance (and a baffling amount of my personal information) to the Google digitalopoly by using Android, Search, Maps, Gmail, Drive, Chrome, Talk, and Calendar, just to name a few. You even gave me a little nudge by essentially creating my Google+ account for me (thank you?). But we just haven’t clicked. By that, I mean I hardly ever click on you.
And I know I’m not alone. One stat I found (through Google, naturally) is that the average user spends five minutes on Google+ per month. To put that in perspective, people spend seven hours per month on Facebook and 13 minutes on MySpace. Wow, that’s awkward.
But I’m not giving up on the old Plus quite yet! One cool feature that seems to be somewhat catching on is Hangouts. In case you’re not familiar, Hangouts allows you to videochat with up to 10 people at one time. Now, I have yet to dip my toe into the Hangout waters, but that’s about to change after I compiled this list of potential uses.
1) Chatting with POTUS.
Back in January, President Obama joined a Hangout to answer questions from real-life ‘Mericans. Regardless of your politics, you have to admit this is pretty cool. And if rational discourse isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you can always scroll through the YouTube comments.
2) Fancy business presentations.
To spice up your next tele-presentation, forego GoToMeeting and tell your client to have their Google login handy. Not only can you see and speak to everyone involved, but you can show them your screen to share all your awesome ideas. Or you can create an interactive whiteboard for brainstorming sessions. Bonus – once the meeting is over, you can go back to updating your status and looking at your friend’s vacation photos.
3) Whining about your team not winning the big one.
Hockey fans could hop on the Hangout bandwagon with Overtime. The week-long event in June included analysis from experts, interviews with players, behind-the-scenes draft coverage, and more. Plus, Google promoted the whole thing with commercials that weren’t half bad.
4) Puppy cam!
Why spend your hard-earned money on a doggie daycare when the internet can babysit your pooch (other than for fresh air, potty breaks, exercise, and socialization)? Just set up an old computer and webcam at your house, and you can easily avoid doing work by watching Fido nap all day. Of course, you could already do this with Skype, Facetime, or a plethora of other options. Oh well, all that matters is there’s a cute puppy on your computer.
5) Fantasy football draft 2.0.
If there’s one thing girlfriends and wives dread about the end of summer, it’s fantasy football drafts. Well, too bad. There’s nothing better than meeting a group of your buddies in a chat room and choosing hypothetical teams you will annoyingly root for that season. Now, add in the ability to see someone’s embarrassment after taking a kicker in the 5th round? Technology is a wonderful thing.
So there you have it. Google+ – maybe not completely worthless. If you have any other genius ideas for Hangouts, please share.