5 Reasons Google Hangouts Are Cooler Than Skype For Video Chats

Google Hangouts Logo   5 Reasons Google Hangouts Are Cooler Than Skype For Video ChatsHangouts is Google’s take on chat rooms. Like many times before, Google has turned a good idea into something incredibly useful, while preserving simplicity and ease of use and thus making it fantastic.

In a previous article, I explained How To Use Google+ Hangouts To Meet With Friends. In this article I will focus on what it is that makes Hangouts so great and definitely cooler than Skype.

1. Free Video Chat With Up To 10 Participants

On Hangouts, you can invite up to 9 friends into a video chat with you and it’s free. Skype on the other hand allows free one-on-one video chats. If you want to invite a third person, you have to upgrade to Skype Premium or make do with audio only.

2. A More Intuitive Interface

Yes, I said it. Google Hangouts has a more intuitive interface than Skype! Once you are in a Hangout that is. While figuring out how to join a Hangout can be a challenge, once you’ve managed to join, things are straightforward and simple without omitting fun features and great details.

Let’s look at sharing your screen as an example, an option available both in Skype and Google Hangouts. In Skype, you must be in a video call to be able to share your screen. Sounds obvious, right? Well, in Hangouts you can create a chat room to prepare and test the screen before anyone else joins. That’s an advantage in my book.

To share your screen in Hangouts, you click the Screenshare button, which opens a window showing all windows you can share. You select what you want to share and click Share selected window button. Now try to do this in Skype. While technically, Skype can do the same things with only subtle differences, the key is that Google managed to design a straightforward and intuitive process.

Google Hangouts Screenshare   5 Reasons Google Hangouts Are Cooler Than Skype For Video Chats

The same case can be made for inviting people to the conversation or other options.

3. Integrated Apps

Hangouts offers a selection of optional apps, for example YouTube, Google Docs, and SlideShare. These apps enable you to collaborate on a Google Document, use Cacoo to co-create diagrams with your team, watch a YouTube video with your best friends away from home, and play games, all while chatting and video chatting at the same time.

In comparison, Skype, with the only added bonus that you can send a file, suddenly seems very one dimensional.

Google Hangouts Apps   5 Reasons Google Hangouts Are Cooler Than Skype For Video Chats

4. Hangouts On Air

When you set up your Hangout, you can select the option Hangouts On Air. Subsequently, your Hangout will be broadcast live on your Google+ stream and on your YouTube channel. Apart from being streamed live, the Hangout also gets automatically saved to your YouTube account. Unfortunately, you cannot broadcast and save your Hangouts privately.

Hangouts On Air   5 Reasons Google Hangouts Are Cooler Than Skype For Video Chats

5. Minimal Setup & Maintenance Requirements

All you need for Google Hangouts is a browser (tip: you are probably using one right now), a browser add-on that installs automatically, and a Google account registered with Google Plus. Skype on the other hand is a separate download that provides no additional services and requires regular updates, in addition to an account that you can’t use for much else.

With your Google account you can use a wide selection of Google services. Moreover, you can use it as a social network login option on other websites, for example to join and comment on MakeUseOf.

Conclusion

Google Hangouts offers a lot more features than Skype. In all honesty, though, it lacks the accessibility and stand-by nature that make Skype so convenient for quick and spontaneous interactions. What Google could do to allow for a seamless transfer from a text or audio-based chat to a proper Hangout, is to tie together Google Hangouts and Google Talk (the standalone client).

This may require Google Hangouts to become available independent of a Google Plus registration or maybe Google Talk (the chat client) would need to integrate better with Google Plus.

Have you tried Google Hangouts, yet? Why not or what was your impression?

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22 Comments -

Daniel Escasa

While I do prefer Google Hangouts to Skype, I detest plug-ins. In fact, a plug-in isn’t available for Chrome on my laptop (running KahelOS, an Arch Linux derivative).

Shehan Nirmal

I love Googling…!!!

Andre Hutson

Love it.

asd

I do not use Hangout, because it requires a G+ account. Been there, done that, and ditched it shortly after.

Tina

What was the problem with having a G+ account for you?

art

Yeah, i’m curious what the problem with GH was too. I’m in the process of learning how to use Skype Groups for things such as hobby club live chat, etc….but I was highly intrigued when i stumbled upon this article about G+Hangouts. I’m more curious about it now as a result.

Dave

I agree on all counts.

David Commini

I haven’t used Hangouts yet, but I do use the Google Talk plugin for Chrome for video chatting as opposed to Skype. Skype just runs too slow, and I can make free phone calls via Google Voice so there is no need to pay for that service on Skype.

Tina

Yeah, Google Talk video chatting is good, too. Hm, now that you mention it, I never bothered to check whether it supports more than two parties in a video chat…

Jay Maniyar

Yes, Google’s Hangout remains my best way of communicating with friends based in the West.

amupolo

please someone help i want to use eskype

Tina Sieber

What is eSkype? Where do you want to use it and what happens if you try?

PJ Wessels

I didn’t like hangouts at first because of no screenshare. Now with it available, I’ll probably use that more.

Truefire_

I wish it had a desktop app though! The interface is a bit confusing for those not familiar with it.

comp0site

Microsoft has ruined Skype.

Os caminhantes

Hello Tina,
I’m looking for a solution how to save the chat after the Hang Out. I’ve search even at Google Help, but I can’t find the answer. Do you know if it’s possible?
Thanks a lot.

Tina

Good question. Unfortunately I don’t know the answer. It’s possible that it’s stored somewhere in your Google Plus profile, but that’s just a wild guess. It’s not stored in Gmail as far as I can tell. GTalk chats are stored there.

Might be a good question for MakeUseOf Answers.

troy turk

I tried Google Hangouts and I really enjoyed it. I use it for a voice chat while playing online games. Only complaint is that I had to create a Google+ account. I understand why I had to do this, but I still do not like it. If I find something better than Google Hangout, I will be deleting my Google+ account.

Rene

Not good good for teaching by internet if you want the information to remain secure. There is no way to keep the video chats private. This alone will keep many business people away from it. I like my anonymity which is not possible with Google.

Neex

I also prefer Hangout but Skype is a lot faster :/.
Yesterday, I tried hangout and skype during several hours with the same person and there is no doubt.

Raj

Love Google Hangouts ….