When Google+ came along, Facebook jumped into action, launching their Skype-based video chat capabilities. While that means video chat is available via Google+ or Facebook, there has been a rather big difference in the two video chat services – up until now.
Google+ has released Hangouts, which allows group video chats and therefore quickly became the pinnacle of video chat clients. Despite the amazing idea, not all of us can hang out with out friends on Google+ yet as some of these friends may never sign up for Google+ at all. This is where Social Hangouts comes in. Social Hangouts uses Facebook’s network and video capabilities to provide a Google+ style hangout experience, finally giving Facebook users access to group video chat.
Why Use Social Hangouts Instead of Google+ Hangouts?
This isn’t a competition between services. Being an original idea, a native social networking application and backed by an Internet giant, Google+ Hangouts has the power to blow away most competition. Google+ already has people developing third-party uses for Hangouts, such as the GPHangout public directories and Chat Roulette styled hangouts. But Social Hangouts has something Google+ doesn’t have just yet – ties to Facebook’s massive social network.
Say you want to start a group video chat with your friends. This might be possible on either social network, since the tech-savvy of the world have generally already signed up to Google+ just to give it a try. But what if you want to make a family group video chat? Your grandma might have joined Facebook in the last year, but they probably haven’t signed up for Google+ yet (and if I’m wrong, you have an awesome geeky grandma, there).
Facebook will be the most far-reaching network to use for a while yet, despite the popularity of Google+ in the tech scene. So, take a look at Social Hangouts and see what you think.
Get Social Hangouts
Social Hangouts is a third-party Facebook application, so getting started with Social Hangouts will be pretty easy for anyone who has ever used any Facebook application. Even your Farmville-loving relatives will be able to join you in a hangout within minutes with a minimum of fuss.
As soon as you’ve added the Social Hangouts application, you’ll need to give the application access to your computer’s camera. Social Hangouts will request camera access where you expect to see an image of yourself, so all you have to do is “allow” access.
Once you’re set up, invite your Facebook friends to the social hangout using the giant “Invite Friends” button. It really couldn’t be much easier than this. Hangouts provide communication by video, audio and text in real time, so you can share links, type, talk and watch each other’s reactions all at once. It’s a lot of fun, so give it a go!
One day, Google+ might have your grandma on it or Facebook might release its own native group chat application, but until then Social Hangouts for Facebook will be filling the gap for us.